“Honolulu” Hughes, as he was called by football fans from coast to coast during is collegiate and professional football career, earned letters in football, baseball and track while at Punahou. In his junior year he was named to the Coaches-Advertiser All-Star Second Team (halfback). In all probability he would have made all star first team in his senior year, except for the fact he was ineligible to play football because of the “four-year” rule. A two-year letterman in baseball, he captained the 1926 team and made the Coaches-Advertiser All-Star team (outfielder). He also pitched and caught.This article appears as originally published in the Summer 1980 issue of the Punahou Bulletin.
At Oregon State University (1927 – 1930) he was an outstanding halfback winning a letter in freshman competition and three letters as a first stringer on the varsity squad. He was a member of the 1928 team that defeated unbeaten NYU in the greatest upset of the ’28 grid season. Records indicate he played the full 60 minutes of the game. Famous for his punting and barefoot kicking exhibitions, which won him his sobriquet, he was featured in Ripley’s Column “Believe It or Not” for drop-kicking a football (barefoot) over 50 yards. He also pitched and played outfield for the varsity baseball team and was a member of the varsity water polo team. After graduation he served as assistant football coach at Oregon State before joining the Boston Braves in 1932. A running half primarily, he covered all backfield positions. He was a regular while some of the greatest former players sat on the bench – including Ernie Pinchert, All American from USC whom he beat out for the right halfback position.
After two successful years of proball Henry decided to come home. He joined the Punahou coaching staff in 1933 and was head football coach in 1934. He remained on Punahou’s staff for five years before embarking on a business career. A staunch supporter of Punahou, he and the members of his family could always be counted on to help – particularly with the annual Alumni Luau.