[ AD HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS STORY ]
Michele Nagamine is the University of Hawaii’s new women’s soccer coach.
Nagamine, the coach at Hawaii Pacific for the last three years, was introduced this morning at a press conference at the Wong Hospitality Room at UH’s Stan Sheriff Center.
To become just the second head coach in program history, Nagamine had to give up her posts at HPU, at Kamehameha as girls soccer coach and at Outrigger Hotels and Resorts as director of sports marketing and sales.
Following a one-month search process, UH athletic director Jim Donovan said she was selected from a pool of over 80 applicants. Nagamine starts with a three-year contract and will officially begin by Friday, he said.
“Looking at all the tangibles and intangibles, Michele is the best person for the job,” Donovan said. “She’s part of soccer (in Hawaii) for 20 years. … She’s synonomous with women’s soccer in Hawaii.”
“Bud,” as many call her, has long been a ubiquitous name on the soccer scene in the islands. As technical director of Leahi Soccer Club, the Santa Clara alum has knowledge of many of the state’s top players.
“I’m extremely honored to be your head coach,” Nagamine said, addressing about 20 returning UH players who came to watch the press conference. “I’m very familiar with the team. I can proudly say that I’ve been to almost every single home game that you’ve had, from Ala Wai Field to Waipio Soccer Park.”
The players greeted their new, yet familiar head coach with hugs and laughs.
She replaces Pinsoom Tenzing, until now the only head coach in program history who retired after back-to-back seasons of missed Western Athletic Conference tournaments. UH went 3-14-3 in 2010, marking the end of Tenzing’s 17-year tenure in which he went 142-157-30.
“What Pinsoom and his staff have laid down over the last 17 years makes me very, very excited about the future of women’s soccer in Hawaii,” Nagamine said. “It’s no joke that this is the pinnacle of soccer in our state, and this is Hawaii’s team.”
In Nagamine’s first season at HPU in 2008, the Sea Warriors went 5-13. But they doubled their win total in her second year, going 10-8-1, earning Nagamine PacWest coach of the year honors. The Sea Warriors won their last five games of the 2010 season to finish 9-7.
Nagamine guided Kamehameha to five of its six state championships — in 1995, ’96, ’06, ’07 and ’08.
She coached the Warriors since 1993, winning six Interscholastic League of Honolulu titles and earning ILH coach of the year honors seven times. She is a five-time state coach of the year.