WAILUKU - Garner Ivey, a pioneer for Maui Interscholastic League wrestling, died Friday morning at Maui Memorial Medical Center after a short battle with cancer. He was 84.
Ivey was synonymous with Baldwin High School's wrestling program and was also one of the first coaches in the MIL.
"We lost a wrestling icon in the state of Hawaii today," said Kim Ball, who began coaching at Lahainaluna in 1980.
Ivey was a longtime employee of Alexander & Baldwin and was in charge of the Maui operation before he retired. He was a four-year letterman as a wrestler at Georgia Tech, where he earned an engineering degree.
Kenji Kawaguchi, the first MIL executive secretary, from 1960 to 1986, credited Ivey with starting wrestling in the league in a Maui News story in December 2010.
Ivey said in that story that wrestling is in his blood - "It has to be," he said.
Ivey "retired" several times as Baldwin's coach, but was at practices through last season.
"I am off the payroll," he said two years ago. "I am a volunteer now, but I am there every day. I haven't missed a day of practice."
Ball confirmed that Ivey's name may be added to the annual Maui Invitational Wrestling Tournament that is held every December.
Ivey is survived by his wife, Mary Helen, and four children. Garner Ivey has been Mary Helen's caregiver for the past 14 years - she suffers from Parkinson's disease.
Services are pending.