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UH volleyball coach sees light, quits to join solar-panel company


Vernon Podlewski has resigned as assistant coach of the University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team to accept a position with a solar-panel company.

"It was a financial decision," said Podlewski, who is married and has two young children. "I’m looking forward to my next career. I’m leaving a coaching career that I’m so passionate about. I’m really, really going to miss it. It was a hard decision. I’ll be supporting (the Warriors) from the sidelines."

UH head coach Charlie Wade said Eco Solar made several offers to Podlewski.

"They kept coming back to him over the past several months," Wade said.

Wade and associate head coach Jeff Hall will be in Dallas attending Junior Olympic tournament the next 11 days. Wade said he expects to fill the vacancy before the start of UH’s fall semester on Aug. 20.

Podlewski, who was raised on Maui, was the starting libero  on the UH team that defeated Pepperdine in the 2002 NCAA final. The Warriors eventually forfeited the title for using a player who played alongside professionals in Europe.

After that, Podlewski was with the U.S. national team.

Podlewski coached Mid-Pacific Institute’s girls’ team for two years. He was named the ILH’s coach of the year in 2012.

He was a volunteer coach for the Warriors in 2011, focusing on passing and defense, before being named a full-time assistant coach for the 2012 team.

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