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Shoji returning for 40th season with Rainbow Wahine

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 05:35 a.m. HST, Dec 29, 2013

He's not retiring yet.

University of Hawaii women's volleyball head coach Dave Shoji announced his return for the 2014 season on Twitter early this morning.

"Announcing that I am returning for 40th season in 2014! Go bows!" he posted at 1:31 a.m.

Shoji, 67, holds the record for most-winniningest head coach in NCAA Division I women's volleyball history.  His current career record is 1129-190-1.

The Rainbow Wahine finished the 2013 season with a 25-5 overall record and 13-3 in the Big West Conference. The team was eliminated in the second round of the NCAA tournament by BYU.

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HOSSANA wrote:
As a former critic of Shoji, I apologize and am more than happy to see him return as the wahine coach. I know he wasn't too happy, as was most everybody, at the way the season ended for the Wahine's in the 2nd round and so I am sure he is looking forward to next season as a challenge and a teaching moment as it will probably be a most daunting year in his coaching as he looks forward in replacing a corps of seniors that graduated this past season. The only thing we can do as fans is to show our support and as Shoji ended his twitter, so be it with his last words, " GO BOWS!"
on December 28,2013 | 02:57AM
1local wrote:
shoji should retire and allow someone else to take the reigns.
on December 28,2013 | 10:23AM
false wrote:
Sometimes the truth hurts. I wonder if this paper would run a big Q, such as "is it a good idea for Dave Shoji to continue to coach the UH Wahine? Yes or No." I think yes, except Dave needs to get more "nationally recognized" players that Nebraska, Stanford and Penn State seem to recruit. Local players such as Nikki Taylor (diamond in the rough) are great, except we need the Kim Willoughby's of the world, the Teee William's of the world, to be able to terminate and take us to that next step for a FIFTH NCAA DIVISION ONE WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP. Besides, Dave is not using his Grecian formula for nothing, and Dave does not want to cede the most wins to Russ.
on December 28,2013 | 11:27AM
huponews wrote:
That's great news...now hire Heather Bowen as an assistance? You need someone on the bench that can offer toughness through hard work. Never say die attitude! She will. Get you over the hump and a national championship.....you know what kind of toughness I mean Dave?
on December 28,2013 | 03:57AM
inverse wrote:
That is not going to help. Shoji already has two Olympic level volleyball players, Wong and Ah Mow-Santos as assistant coaches and that has not helped one bit. To start UH needs to get rid of sand volleyball and focus only on regular volleyball. Shoji has NOT or allowed to develop either of these coaches to which they should be and is too selfish to just retire and bring a new coach from a mainland college to bring UH volleyball to a level of competitiveness they once were. For the nth time, everyone is in agreement Shoji did great things for UH Wahine volleyball but that was a long time ago and the fire and intensity he once had to compete at that level has been extinguished long ago. When Shoji's excuses become so predictable and measured for his teams poor late and post season performance or how he even addresses media questions about his retirment, including use of Twitter which the UH department probably handled for him, decent level opposing teams that UH faces in the late and post season have learned to exploit his predictability on the court as well. Like Chow there is no shame to admit their best times as a high level competitive coach have been gone many years ago.
on December 28,2013 | 04:22AM
MC96816 wrote:
Top-level players don't necessarily make top-level coaches. And even with a top-level coach, the players still have to listen and be "coachable."
on December 28,2013 | 08:14AM
niimi wrote:
Inverse is PERVERSE in words. The program IS performing well given we are at best an overall average academic institution versus Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, ACC or other "BCS" level conferences. Far harder to recruit when your parents want you to go to a big name school. Say Jenny or Joanie wants to major in business. Well, you can go to Shidler School of Business where upon graduation the job recruiter will say, "Where is Shidler?" That or you can get your degree from Harvard, Stanford, Penn (Whatron), Northwestern (Kellogg), Cal (Haas), Duke (Fuqua), UCLA (Anderson), Michigan (Ross), Texas (McCombs), UNC (Kenan), Indiana (Kelly), Minnesota (Carlson), Washington (Foster), USC (Marshall), Ohio State (Fisher), Notre Dame (Mendoza), ASU (Carey). You see, Inverse, when you're a mainland parent you want your children closer to home if possible. So why add on another 5-hour plane ride? That is what Hawaii is recruiting against. 16 years has brought Hawaii 1 Finals, 4 Final Fourse, 3 Regional Finals, 5 Regional Semi-Finals, 2 2nd Rounds, 1 First Round. WHAT ELSE DO EXPECT, PERVERSE? Huh? Spell it out for us, Perverse, let us hear it. If you expect to get to the Final Four every year that is admirable but hardly realistic unless you think Hawaii is a top University out of 320 Division 1 Womens Volleyball Programs.
on December 28,2013 | 09:49AM
akio wrote:
Right on Niimi, I totally agree with you.
on December 28,2013 | 08:44PM
808comp wrote:
I think Wong should go only sand volleyball. I always thought that maybe Bowen would like to coach at UH. Can she recruit though.
on December 28,2013 | 08:46AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The Wahine needs more talent. Compare them with teams such as Nebraska, Penn State, Stanford, Southern California and Texas. Local talent is great, except the wow factor of mainland talent is not on the Wahine roster. Next year, Nikki Taylor looks ready to take over the wow factor that Emily Hartong gave us.

The new setter will make the season a little unstable. My prediction is that the Wahine will end up with a similar record as this year, or maybe a little worse, with a year end ranking of maybe 14th nationally. The losses of Hartong and Mita Uiato would be felt the most.

Also, if we look at the last National Championship team in 1987, the fiery on court leadership of Reydan Ahuna for example, has been missing in most or all of the Wahine runs to the final four since 1987.

We can only look with awe as to the accomplishments of Russ Rose and his lady Nittany Lions of Penn State, including their National Title run this year. Dave needs to capture the type of awe that Russ Rose has captured, so we can celebrate a fifth banner on the rafters of the Stanley.

Forty years is a long time doing the same work, and we all need to congratulate Dave, including his National Championship won by Erik and Kawika. Perhaps Dave's time with the Wahine has been compromised with raising his children. Who knows?

The title run that fell short of the national title that involved Robyn Ah Mow was disheartening, as well the repeat run of the Teee Williams era in 1988.

Somehow Dave has not been able to take advantage of the chip on his shoulder to win another title. I don't see a title next year either.

What are we to expect next year? Enough great wins to possibly win rounds 1 and 2, yet possible difficulty in the sweet sixteen.

The bottom line is Hawaii needs more talented players that are recruited to play the Wahine style. Go 'bows !!!

on December 28,2013 | 05:09AM
niimi wrote:
I agree Hawaii needs to recruit more talent. Dave has to be recruiting with his best effort possible, but this is what he's up against with Penn Stete, where Russ Rose says, "Mr. & Mrs. So and So, just take a look at our across the board academic prowess. Your precious daughter would be coming into a Big-Ten program that completes nationally both on the court and in the classroom. Your daughter is a mid-West girl, and there are 9 regional airlines that can bring you to her games. I know Dave personally, and he's run a fine program there for almost 40 years. But what will your precious Jenny do when when she tries to enter the worforce without any pedigree to speak of? 'Hi, I'm Jenny and I have a degree from Hawaii.' Compare that to, "HI, I'm Jenny. I have a degree in Chemistry from Penn State University.' Mr. & Mrs. So and So, your Jenny will be in great hands, and the Penn State pedigree will reward her as she soars through her professional life for years to come."
on December 28,2013 | 09:55AM
false wrote:
In the 1980s, Dave was in at the ground floor, and beat USC, UCLA, Pacific, and Stanford, the big names in Volleyball. It all turned in 1988, when a second consecutive run to the final four was abruptly stopped by Mick Haley of Texas in the final. Ever since that time, the Wahine and Shoji have been snake-bit, not being able to win THE BIG ONE. I think its time to grab another National Title, to bookend the 1987 title. 1979, 1982, 1983, 1987, those are impressive. With the opportunity missed this year, next year will be the 27th year since 1987. Suzanne Eagye must be a grandmother by now lol..Let's Go 'Bows!!! Let's Go 'Bows!!! Let's Go 'Bows!!!
on December 28,2013 | 11:36AM
haolebob wrote:
I would like to debate the argue the merits of the last respondent but, Unfortunately there are no merits. The naysayers will always exist and as usual they will only see the negative side of any discussion. Dave Shoji has been, and always be, the best coach UH has ever had or will have! Anybody who believes that it is easy to recruit history over money does not understand the mind of today's athlete. UH can never match the dollars any last place team a BCS league can use to convince top recruits to come to their programs. Today's athlete looks not only at the sport that they will play in but the entire athletic program. Listen to the coach of Texas, even he recognized the influence of the Football program on recruiting for Volleyball. Weight rooms, Dorm rooms, academic reputation, classroom facilities, and everything else that goes into a WINNING program has influence on the YOUNG adults that are making this decision at this turning point of their lives. Almost any BCS team coach, would be quick enough to say that Dave Shoji, has been able to get more out of the talent that is available to UH, than anyone else would be able to. I have watched UH volleyball teams since the inception of the program, to actually working with Dave Shoji and Dean Nowack in 1982, to today when anyone can be an expert simply by typing their opinions and submitting them to this present medium. If Dave wants it, I think he could and should keep control of the Volleyball program, to as long as HE desires. When one looks at Shoji's record, his numbers look fantastic at the national level, not just level of the teams at UH. There will NEVER be any coach at UH that will get close to his numbers, and you can take that " to the bank ". One more point I would like to bring up, and that is coaches pay. A bad assistant coach on a BCS football team gets paid more than Shoji, an if , say "Penn.", wants to keep Rose and not want him to leave for the great pay and coaching opportunity at UH they could pay him several times more that anything UH could offer. As always I will end with " GO BOWS".
on December 28,2013 | 05:23AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Ok so who r u? Bob Hogue?
on December 28,2013 | 07:19AM
niimi wrote:
Well said. go Bows! Shoji far exceeded what anyone in Hawaii could have ever dreamed of. Read WahineBall: The story if Hawai'i's most beloved team. Hawaii is right there going after those big recruits that went to other Cali schools You should talk with the parents of student athletes who were recruited away from Hawaii to big-name mainland programs. It's all about painting that picture of getting ahead, the school's academic tradition and pedigree. The closer proximity to home. I don't think the spewing fan has any clue about recruiting. All they know is how to lean back in their computer chair and spew. "Go Rainbow Wahine."
on December 28,2013 | 10:03AM
KaimukiLady wrote:
Thanks for saying this. Just hate it when people cut Shoji. I am constantly amazed at how he can get great teams from the recruits he has. He is a legend to many of us who have been going to Wahine volleyball. Mahalo, Dave for doing what you do year after year. GO BOWS!!!!!
on December 28,2013 | 02:30PM
lokela wrote:
Dave could use a tall and athletic team. Might work.
on December 28,2013 | 06:11AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The last all 6 foot team did not work well, u know the Cheri Boyer team. It's all in the competition. Remember that Russ Rose was an afterthought all these years until about 2005 or so, when Ali Longo was on one of Rose's Penn State national championship teams. Now Kanani Danielson was great, however somehow Jane Croson could not help her out. This year, I made a prediction that either the Wahine would become something like 29-1 and challenge for the National Title or become an afterthought by ending up with their 25-5 record, AFTER the Wahine lost to San Diego, even after defeating Texas. Somehow the focus was not there for ALL games and the Wahine paid for it. How could the Wahine defeat a Nina Mathes led Pepperdine tall team a few years ago when Jane was a freshman, even crush the Waves, and yet when the chips are on the table, the Wahine crumble? Whose fault is that? I leave it to u guys to answer. I can volunteer as to whose fault it is, except it's always painful to hear the truth!!
on December 28,2013 | 07:27AM
buds4life wrote:
Regarding the NaWahine, who is the point man in recruiting. Is the recruiter conceding the top players to BCS schools? A few years ago the Na Wahine program was in the running for Tom and Klinemen. Hawaii wasn't chosen but so what! I hear all this talk of the BCS schools have so much to offer, well Hawaii does too. Perhaps in 25 recruitment battles for the very best Hawaii might get one, I for one like the odds. Perhaps the one UH coach, that personify the effort needed to recruit is Coach Gib. The volleyball program is in need of a tireless recruiter. Perhaps Coach Shoji needs to find that point man. JMHO. Go Bows!
on December 28,2013 | 06:17AM
niimi wrote:
Tell me what the University of Hawaii, Manoa has to offer versus BCS-conference schools in terms of athletic facilities for training, coaches, dorm accommodations, academic prowess in business, engineering, hard sciences, mathematics, literature, social sciences, Prize winning faculty, award winning research programs, top-25 rankings in each of those academic areas of study.
on December 28,2013 | 10:08AM
inverse wrote:
You can predict the outcome for UH wahine volleyball for next season? Agree with you 100%. Just like Chow, Shoji is just going through the motions of being a head coach and like Chow make sure he use the correct sound bites like " we are going to chase championships" or the NCAA selection committee is prejudiced against UH, etc. The most pathetic comment I heard was a UH volleyball player interviewed before a post season match stating "we want to the game for Shoji". I thought the purpose for playing in college sports was to win for the team and themselves but NOT the coach? Sad state of affairs when people feel a person is "entitled" to a job for life because of prior accomplishments, no matter what. Just like the excuse about why the UH football has failed that iit s lack of money has nothing to do with attracting the very best players. The catch-22 situation with recruiting is the very best players have an absolute obsession to be winners and if they feel the team does NOT have a CURRENT winning tradition, they will look elsewhere to play sports. Also when the coach becomes more important then the team itself, that are warning signs for the very best players to look elsewhere to play as winning is NOT the priority rather the personal well-being of the coach and his patent 9-5 work formula on how to coach and manage the team including how to handle PR when lose to mediocre teams during and post season play.
on December 28,2013 | 06:27AM
inverse wrote:
respone to HonoluluBob: Making past comparisons, Hartong is not at the level of Williams or Willoughby, where those 2 were so good, those 2 almost single handedly could win the national championship for UH. With Willoughby, Kahamoku, and others, UH probably had THE best player in the nation was expected for UH to win another national title, except for Kahamoku mysteriously leaving the team for one season. I won't repeat the rumours on why she might have left then returned but the was the last real chance UH under Shoji could have won a national championship. With the problems with Willoughby, Kahamoku and later Croson, begs the question if Shoji after all those years has become gun shy in recruiting the VERY best players not just from the US but from foreign countries who usually will carry some potential serious baggage with them and instead he will chose the "safer" but lesser local and mainland players who will better fit his "safe formula".
on December 28,2013 | 06:29AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The Willoughby Kahumoku team was once ranked in the top two. That was a year I felt was the best opportunity to win a fifth.
on December 28,2013 | 07:36AM
ski3779 wrote:
We will all see if Dave is just going thru the motions very early next season, cause he has so many new players to mold. If Dave is just going thru the motions, then the Wahine will be just an average team, if he is still attempting to get his 5th National Championship, the Wahine will be good, to very good.
on December 28,2013 | 08:49AM
niimi wrote:
AVERAGE = MEAN. So of 320 that would be a ranking of 160th in the country.
on December 28,2013 | 10:10AM
oxtail01 wrote:
The loss to BYU was the worst loss EVER in UH post season history and BYU wasn't that good. This will be a continuing theme as long as Shoji remains head coach - he needs to retire for the good of everybody. Thank you for your great service and dedication but PLEASE, go already.
on December 28,2013 | 09:28AM
niimi wrote:
oxtail01 you have look beyond your nose back into history. 1997 losing in the first round was the worst, losing in the first round to unseeded Loyola-Marymount. That or losing in '84 to Oregon in 5 right after looking all that talent from back-to-back title teams.
on December 28,2013 | 10:16AM
oxtail01 wrote:
Did you actually watch the BYU debacle?
on December 28,2013 | 01:32PM
niimi wrote:
"We want to the game for Shoji"? What kind of statement were you reading?
on December 28,2013 | 10:09AM
inverse wrote:
We want to WIN the game for Shoji. Using a smartphone with a tiny screen and virtual keyboard.
on December 28,2013 | 11:27AM
paniolo wrote:
Great News! Let's go Wahine...
on December 28,2013 | 06:52AM
mcc wrote:
Great news! Let's go Bows!
on December 28,2013 | 07:27AM
808warriorfan wrote:
A great way to end the year for 'Bow fans everywhere.....THANKS DAVE !!!!!
on December 28,2013 | 07:55AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Maybe 2013 was an unlucky year, Dave, so win your 5th next year, before we ask u questions that may want u to invoke the 5th.
on December 28,2013 | 08:03AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Dave has always played with what he got. He's a very good coach and most of us appreciate him. He is innovative and with his experience, he keeps them in the game. Good Luck Dave, stay as long as you like!
on December 28,2013 | 08:40AM
akio wrote:
Agreed, Dave is a Great Coach, I hope he coaches for many more years.
on December 28,2013 | 09:10PM
ski3779 wrote:
Not at all surprised the Dave announced that he will return for 2014. Would not be shocked either, if he decides to coach in 2015. The BIG Question, in my mind is, will he still be the coach in 2016. The reason I say he will still coach in 2015, is that, he will have a legitimate shot at his 5th National Championship, that year.
on December 28,2013 | 08:53AM
niimi wrote:
I could see the same, ski3779, 2015 or 16. Lots of in-coming freshman and perhaps a transfer or two, so 2015 is what to build toward. Our OH is seasoned, as would be our setter, and any new players coming in would have two seasons to gain the experience. We lose leadership at L where Longo was a spark plug. As "Honolulu,Hawaii" said in the posting above, that fiery on-court leadership is a factor.
on December 28,2013 | 10:22AM
oxtail01 wrote:
What you see means nothing, clueless.
on December 28,2013 | 01:36PM
808comp wrote:
I still belive that UH will get a shot at the National Championship in 2-3 years.
on December 28,2013 | 11:45AM
oxtail01 wrote:
Good for Shoji - bad for UH. He's turning into an arrogant and stubborn old man who's best days are behind him. The disastrous loss to BYU is a glimpse of what's in store for UH against tough competition. Been a supporter of UH women's volleyball for a long time but it's time for fans to remove the blinders (since Shoji seems incapable of doing so) and encourage him to ride into the sunset while he's still on the horse. Just as Murakami was a shell of himself at the end of his tenure as baseball's head coach, the same is true for Shoji. They become like cartoon characters - caricatures who hold on to their past characters, unable to change with the changing times.
on December 28,2013 | 09:22AM
niimi wrote:
Regional Semi just two years ago, and a Final Four team two years prior to that. So that's not good enough for you, huh. I guess A 60-year-old getting to the Final Four is inadequate coaching for you. So June Jones running the table on a schedule that he didn't set up was probably not good enough for you, too. That's the trouble with all you hot-air-emptyness spewing so-called "fans". You just blow without a windpipe. I'll bet you are like those fans who now expect to go to a BCS bowl every single year or you want to replace that coach.
on December 28,2013 | 10:25AM
oxtail01 wrote:
Go fly a kite, Ja....a. s. Don't make assumptions about things you know nothing about. Who the heck you think you are?
on December 28,2013 | 01:34PM
KeithHaugen wrote:
Go Bows, go Shoji.... all the best.
on December 28,2013 | 12:39PM
poidogg66 wrote:
25/5 and complaining? I wish our university was 25/5.
on December 28,2013 | 01:30PM
bumbye wrote:
That's awesome!
on December 28,2013 | 02:23PM
kennie1933 wrote:
Dave is a good coach, maybe even hall of fame material one day. But let's be honest. UH played most of it's seasons in the WAC and Big West conferences, hardly major competition overall. Yes, there was Long Beach State back in the day, and New Mexico State was pretty good in the WAC. But overall? Andy Banachowski (sp?) at UCLA, whom Dave passed as the "winningest" coach spent most of his career in the PAC-10 (now PAC-12). In that conference, you are playing USC, Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State, and lately, Oregon twice a year, EVERY year! OK, we play them too, once in a while, and once in a while we even win. But to play competition like that year in and year out, and still have that many career wins? Because we play in the Big West, we'll still do OK next season. The question though, is "doing OK" good enough? Is winning 20 matches in a so-so conference, then losing in the regionals good enough? If so, then I guess this is good news.
on December 28,2013 | 04:21PM
kuroiwaj wrote:
Dave, mahalo for your decision and best of luck in the future. You have touched thousands of players, future players, rainbow fans, and most important the Rainbow women volleyball players.
on December 28,2013 | 05:34PM
maka02 wrote:
Glad to hear Coach Shoji is returning for another year. I think he does a great job. His teams always gets into the post season matches, which is a lot better than other coaches that are younger and don't even experience post season action. Hurray for Coach Shoji and his teams!
on December 28,2013 | 08:16PM
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