Head Coach Dave Shoji

The University of Hawai'i women's volleyball program enters its 23rd season in 1996, and Head Coach Dave Shoji, who turns 50 himself this season, has directed this program for all but one year -- the inaugural season of 1974.
An icon in collegiate volleyball for more than two decades, Shoji is one of the most highly respected head coaches among his peers. He is a proven sculptor who can mold the raw skills of individuals into a masterpiece that is always vying for one of the top spots in the NCAA. His knack for recruiting top-notched quality players has enabled him to be listed among the elite in the collegiate volleyball coaching fraternity.
Shoji, who owns an overall record of 590-121 through 21 seasons, should reach another milestone sometime this September -- his 600th collegiate win!
It has been an arduous climb for Shoji to endure. From the program's inception in 1974, Rainbow Wahine volleyball has captured the hearts and souls of nearly every islander and are considered, year-in and year-out, among the nation's elite. Now with the Special Events Arena in place for the third season, attendance records are falling by the wayside. Shoji's squads have set national attendance marks in each of the last two seasons capped off in 1995 by being the first volleyball program -- men or women -- to draw more than 100,000 fans in one season when the Rainbow Wahine drew 145,006. Both the total attendance and the average per game (6,042) were national marks.
In 1995, Shoji and the Rainbow Wahine closed out another successful chapter ending their 11-year relationship with the Big West Conference by winning their fifth league crown with an unblemished mark. The undefeated 18-0 league record was the second time a Shoji-coached squad had accomplished the feat and just the third time in Big West history that a team went through conference play without a loss.
Also in 1995, he directed his squad to 31 consecutive wins before losing the Mountain Region final to Michigan State. The Rainbow Wahine were one victory shy of advancing to the national championship for the fifth time under Shoji's reign. He was named the Honolulu Quarterback Club's Male Sports Person-of-the-Month for October after leading the Rainbow Wahine on a 9-0 run in which the team lost a total of just three games.
Shoji, who was born in Upland, Calif., lived in Honolulu and Hilo during most of his childhood before returning to California for high school and college. He was an outstanding three-sport athlete at Upland High School where he earned two letters in football (halfback), two in basketball (guard), and three in baseball (shortstop). He won all-league honors in all three sports and was a California Intercollegiate Federation (CIF) all-star in baseball for two seasons.
However, Shoji's game at UC Santa Barbara was volleyball. He earned three letters as a setter, was honorable mention All-America as a junior and a first-team All-America as a senior. After receiving a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1969, he spent two years as an officer in the U.S. Army.
Following his discharge from the service, he returned to Hawai'i and became the head coach of Kalani High School's girls' and boys' volleyball teams. He later became an assistant coach at Punahou School.
Shoji gained a professional diploma in education from the University of Hawai'i in 1975, and replaced Alan Kang as the Rainbow Wahine volleyball coach later that same year, while also serving as a lecturer in the physical education department. In January of 1981, he became the first full-time coach for the women's program and served the department as an assistant academic adviser as well.
After making the transition as a full-time coach, the pieces of the puzzle began falling into place for Shoji.
Just one season after gaining full-time status, he directed the Rainbow Wahine to the 1982 NCAA Championship -- their second national title in the school's history. His 1979 squad also captured the AIAW National Crown.
Nevertheless, Shoji did not sit back and savor the title. He went one step further and came away with back-to-back championships with a title defense victory over UCLA in 1983. It marked the first time in NCAA history that a university had won the title in consecutive years. Since then, only Pacific (1985-86) and UCLA (1990-91) have accomplished the same feat.
Shoji's squad over the next three seasons were very competitive, but they could not get over the hump and out of the regional. Not until 1987.
His 1987 team produced a 37-2 overall record and swept through the regional in Honolulu and the National Championshps in Indianapolis to bring home the program's fourth national championship. As a matter of fact, no other UH program or individual has won a national championship since that year.
Shoji's squads began the 1990s on the slide as the 1990 team posted 28 wins, but by 1992 his team won a season-low 15 matches forcing him to reevaluate his program.
"Since 1992, we have had a revitalization of the program," the Rainbow Wahine mentor said. "We took a long look at a lot of the phases of the program, and we restructured many of them to try and accomplish what we felt were our goals. Last year was a culmination of a three-year process of us trying to get back to the finals and try to be one of the top programs in the country. I obviously think that we are back."
Bringing the National Championship back to the islands is the ultimate goal. For Shoji and his 1996 squad, it is "Cleveland or Bust!"
Shoji and his wife, the former Mary Tennefos, reside in Manoa and have three children: Cobey, 17; Kawika, 9; and Erik, 7.

1975-present Hawai'i women's head volleyball coach.
1977-85 Hawai'i men's head volleyball coach.
1974 Punahou (HI) School boy's assistant volleyball coach.
1972-73 Kalani (HI) High School boy's JV coach and girl's head coach.

3rd Most National Playoff Victories 72
4th Best Winning Percentage (NCAA I) 0.8284
T-4th Most National Playoff Appearances 20
T-7th Most National Championships 4
9th Most Career Wins (NCAA I Active Coaches) 584
10th Most Career Wins (NCAA I All Coaches) 584
13th Best Career Winning Percentage (All-Divisions) 0.8284
21st Most Career Wins Among Active Coaches (All Divisions) 584
24th Most Career Wins Among All Coaches (All-Divisions) 584

1 Oct. 31, 1975, vs. San Diego State (11-6, 11-4 @UCLA Invt.)
100 Oct. 8, 1979, vs. Utah State (7-15, 15-6, 16-14, 15-13)
200 Nov. 5, 1982, vs. Cal State Fullerton (15-5, 15-7 @UCLA/NIVT)
300 Oct. 24, 1985, vs. UC Irvine (15-1, 15-11, 13-15, 15-0)
400 Nov. 7, 1988, at Cal Poly-SLO (15-11, 13-15, 15-13, 11-15, 15-3)
500 Oct. 16, 1992, at Utah State (15-5, 17-15, 15-6)