POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 11, 2010
Since its inception as a club team, Pinsoom Tenzing oversaw the growth of the University of Hawaii women's soccer program. He raised it as his own.
Now it's time for him to move on.
Tenzing, the only head coach in the history of the 17-year program, announced his retirement yesterday following a dismal season in which the Rainbow Wahine missed the Western Athletic Conference tournament for the second straight year.
"Heads have rolled for lesser indiscretions," said Tenzing in a UH release. "Jim (UH athletic director Donovan) wants to take the program in a different direction and as well he should. I will support him however and whenever he needs me."
Tenzing, who finished 142-157-30 at UH, earned WAC coach of the year honors as recently as 2005 and '07, and molded the Wahine from a humble outfit in the mid-1990s into an NCAA tournament participant in 2007.
The coach was then awarded a three-year contract extension and a raise, but Tenzing's term played out in disappointment following the postseason breakthrough. A young 2010 Wahine team struggled to score and went 3-14-3 -- including 1-5-2 in the WAC -- in the final year of his contract.
Donovan lauded Tenzing for his commitment to academics and to the university as a whole.
"That makes this decision much more difficult than most of the others I've had to face," Donovan said of not offering Tenzing a new contract. "It's really not about Pinsoom the person; he's a great man. He cares very much. It just came down to, programs spiral up and they spiral down. And I want to make sure this one is spiraling up."
Donovan said the job posting for UH women's soccer coach will go up tomorrow morning, and he hoped to have someone hired in three to five weeks.
Tenzing believed in using home-grown talent as the backbone of the team.
Most notably, he brought in Kahuku High graduate Natasha Kai, the program's first and only All-American and future Olympic gold medalist.
Junior midfielder Rachel Domingo was grateful to be brought into the program by Tenzing.
"He was very knowledgeable," Domingo said. "He had a different way of coaching that was good, and we really appreciate all that he's done for us.
"We're moving forward as a team, and we're going to stick together," she said. "It's definitely a loss, but we have to stay together and be positive about it, and everything will work out. Just gotta keep working hard."
Highlights of Tenzing's tenure included three WAC regular-season championships (2003, '05 and '07), and the WAC tournament title and NCAA berth in '07. Thirty UH players earned all-conference selections on his watch, including five WAC players of the year.