Recently Retired Coaching Legend Shoji Honored At Aloha Ball

  0 Kyp Harasymowycz | August 04th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, News, WCC

When a person chooses to enter volleyball coaching, it takes consistency of success to turn the vocation into a career.  Even fewer can stay with the same program for multiple decades.  So it comes as no surprise that after a 42-year coaching saga, over 60 former and current players, 1500+ people in attendance and countless others sending in video tributes (including the governor of Hawai’i, David Ige) spoke to the excellence of iconic UH coach Dave Shoji.

As one of only three collegiate volleyball coaches to surpass the 1200 win mark, Shoji never recorded a losing season. He built UH from nothing to a perennial national power nearly overnight.  Current coaches, including Russ Rose (Penn State), Robin Ah Mow-Santos (current UH coach), Dave Rubio (Arizona) and Mike Sealy (UCLA) spoke through video and live messages about not only his longevity but the degree of success and long-lasting effects Shoji has made on the volleyball community as a whole.  

By the numbers, his unmatched totals include 41 NCAA tournament appearances, 25 conference championships, nine NCAA Final Four appearances and four national championships.  His players are equally as decorated—181 all-conference selections, 25 conference players of the year and 87 All-Americans.  Off the court, the Rainbow Wahine representing volleyball were just as adept; 101 received conference all-academic honors.

Yes, you read that correctly.  He AVERAGED two All-American players PER SEASON.

The Aloha Ball Retirement Celebration at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu had no shortage of Hawai’ian-based guests in attendance, including emcee Larry Beil (ESPN), UH President and Manoa chancellor David Lassner and former UH libero Ashley Watanabe providing the National Anthem and Hawai’i Pono’i for a unique Hawaiian musical flair.  Current U.S. Men’s National Team players Kawika and Erik Shoji (Setter and libero, respectively) also spoke about their father at length before the entire Shoji clan joined them on stage.

Additionally, the celebration, along with other gifts, raised $130,000 to be spent on the UH volleyball program and establish a Dave and Mary Shoji Scholarship Endowment fund.

Coach Shoji, who IS volleyball for Hawai’i, also had a banner put up in the SSC in his honor, emphasizing the career and life that he has built in Honolulu.  To finish the program, Shoji’s wife, Mary had a few brief words before Dave finished with his humble farewell.

And after all of that success, Coach Shoji has said plenty.

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