1,202 wins, an 85% winning percentage, 42 seasons as headcoach, four national championships, five-time national Coach of the Year, 85All Americans, 25 conference Players-of-the-Year. You could go on and on aboutthe significant numerical milestones and achievements in the career ofnow-retired University of Hawaii Wahine Volleyball Coach, Dave Shoji. But ifthat's all you noted, you'd be missing the bigger picture. The entire canvaswas laid out with great clarity and much love at his "Aloha Ball" retirementcelebration a couple of weeks ago in front of family, friends, players andfans. Setter extraordinaire Martina Cincerova came all the way back from theCzech Republic to celebrate her coach, 30-years after she led UH to its lastnational title. Many more came from places both near and far for one more hug,one more lei, one more memory.
What Dave Shoji and his marvelous teams have done over thepast four decades is unparalleled locally and at the top level of what greatcoaches have accomplished nationally as well. Forget whether or not Dave wasthe best in-match volleyball strategist of all time- he was, taking under-sizedor over-matched players and getting them to perform beyond expectations. Forgetthe unparalleled ability Dave had to mix, match, and succeed with teamscomprised of young women from Hawaii, the mainland, and often from foreignshores.