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Shoji named to AVCA Hall of Fame

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    Dave Shoji gives credit for the program's success to his players, coaches and fans.

Six months after being named national coach of the year for the second time, 35 years after he started coaching Hawaii’s Rainbow Wahine volleyball team, and two days after hitting his latest hole-in-one, Dave Shoji was announced yesterday as part of the eighth annual American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame class.

Shoji will be inducted Dec. 16 at the AVCA’s annual Coaches Honors Luncheon, run in conjunction with the organization’s convention and the final four, in Kansas City, Mo.

"Again, I have to say I share this with all my former players and the staff that has been connected with the program," Shoji said.

Shoji also shared it with the Hawaii fans, who have made UH the only revenue-producing program in women’s volleyball. The Wahine have led the country in attendance since moving into the Stan Sheriff Center in 1994.

"I think that the fans have been a part of the success Wahine volleyball has attained," Shoji said. "I share in that with everybody involved. There’s no question that they have allowed us to stay as one of the top programs in the country, just by their faithfulness and support."

The other three inductees are: Carl McGown, a former coach of the U.S. men’s national team, Brigham Young University and Church College of Hawaii (now Brigham Young-Hawaii); Irene Matlock, the longtime Community Colleges of Spokane coach; and Sports Imports, Inc., the official net system of AVCA.

AVCA executive director Kathy DeBoer called the class "wonderfully representative of the broad community that is the AVCA."

This induction will bring the number of AVCA Hall of Fame honorees to 52.

McGown, who was also a volunteer assistant for Mike Wilton’s Warriors for several seasons, coached the Seasiders from 1964 to 1968. In 1964, CCH finished second nationally.

"Everyone always says things like this come as a surprise but it really is," McGown said. "I never really thought about this kind of stuff. It’s really nice."

Shoji, 63, became the second head coach in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball history to reach 1,000 wins last season. His 1,016 career victories ranks second all-time in Division I. He has guided the Rainbow Wahine to four national titles and took them to their ninth NCAA final four last December.

In 2002, Shoji was honored as an All-Time Great Coach in the Donald S. Shondell Contemporary Division by USA Volleyball. He has also recently been inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame and was named coach of the NCAA 25th Anniversary team.

"Dave is a great and gracious competitor," said AVCA Hall of Fame member and former Nebraska head coach Terry Pettit in an endorsement letter of Shoji’s nomination. "The Hawaii fans, I believe, reflect his demeanor and sportsmanship. As last year’s participation in the NCAA semifinals gives evidence, no one has maintained a top-level program for as long as Dave Shoji at the University of Hawaii."

The Wahine start practice for the 2010 season the first week of August. They open against San Diego on Aug. 27 in the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational. UCLA and Kansas State are also in the field.

Star-Advertiser sportswriter Cindy Luis contributed to this story.


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