Hawaii women’s basketball assistant coach Serenda Valdez has decided to leave the program to pursue a career in academics.
Valdez, a fixture around UH lower campus, was in her second stint with the Rainbow Wahine. She worked with the team’s wing players and handled administrative tasks such as player academics and admissions.
Head coach Dana Takahara-Dias won’t have much time to fill the position. Practice starts Oct. 15. The job posting went up Tuesday and will remain up until Sept. 9.
Valdez felt the time was right to bow out from Takahara-Dias’ staff. She wouldn’t say where she was bound, but confirmed it was still in Hawaii.
"It was very much a hard decision. It’s the program that’s given me so much," Valdez said. "Building relationships, coaching with the kids, working with the kids. (Takahara-Dias) has been very supportive of this move. She’s counseled me with some good advice."
Valdez was an assistant coach with Vince Goo from 1992 to 2004, then was the UH assistant director of student affairs/athletics until 2009. She was brought in, along with fellow former assistant, Da Houl, when Takahara-Dias was hired last year.
The disappointment was obvious in Takahara-Dias’ voice.
"It’s just difficult to see Coach Serenda leave," Takahara-Dias said. "She was such a great asset."