Former Hawai’i volleyball player Aven Lee is back on the sidelines in Manoa after spending the last 16 years abroad in the coaching world. Newly minted head coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos announced Lee as the program’s director of operations on Tuesday.
“This is a great hire for us,” Ah Mow-Santos said. “Aven is another very experienced UH Alum who knows what it means to play for the Rainbow Wahine. She is very knowledgeable in all the behind the scenes magic that it takes to make an NCAA DI team function efficiently and effectively.”
For the last two years, Lee has been an assistant coach and director of operations at Sacramento State. Prior to that, she made stops at Nevada (2013-14) and Pacific (2009-12), while also coaching in the junior national and high school ranks. She coached the 2009 USA Women’s National A2 team and the 2008 Girls Junior National A2 team amongst others.
Lee played for the Rainbow Wahine from 1996 to 2000 under legendary head coach Dave Shoji, who retired earlier this spring a few months after announcing he had cancer. She earned her sociology degree from UH in 2002.
The Honolulu native was teammates with Mow-Santos and current assistant Angelica Ljunqvist in 1996, when the latter two were seniors and the Rainbow Wahine advanced to the NCAA title match.
Lee helped UH to a 120-15 record, including a perfect 60-0 mark in Western Athletic Conference play in her career as an outside hitter and defensive specialist. She led Hawai’i to four WAC titles and also made appearances in the 2000 Final Four and 1999 Sweet 16.
Hawai’i has a tough slate ahead in 2017, beginning with its own Rainbow Wahine Invitational.