It's impossible to fill Dave Shoji's shoes. Words can't express what he meant to the University of Hawaii women's volleyball program and the amazing run of success in his 42 years in charge. Robyn Ah Mow Santos admits as much, calling Shoji a once-in-a-lifetime coach. Upon news of becoming just the third head coach in program history, Ah Mow-Santos admitted she was excited, but nervous. Current Rainbow Wahine players are the former, not the latter.
"When we found out she was coming back, we were so excited. Everybody was freaking out," outside hitter Kalei Greeley said. "The fact that she relates to the players and she really, deeply cares about each individual player is a really good characteristic she has."
Thanks to her assistant coaching stint at UH from 2011-2015, Ah Mow-Santos steps into the job having a rapport with many of the players.
"She already has a really great reputation here, so I think a lot of things will go well for her," said former setter Tayler Higgins. "It's so easy to be inspired by her. She radiates passion and she's so emotional in the way she coaches and cares about everyone, it's going to be really great."
Passion was the one thing Dave Shoji highlighted as separating Ah Mow-Santos from everyone else.
"If you saw her coaching on the sidelines, you know she loves the game and loves to be involved, loves the players," Shoji said.
But what does Ah Mow-Santos think separates her from her predecessor?
"I've been on all different teams, all different levels, so I kind of know what to look for in athletes, what athletes argue about, what pushes them from a woman's standpoint," Ah Mow-Santos said. "That's what I think I would bring differently than Dave."
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