UH schedules interviews for women’s volleyball coach
The University of Hawaii has begun scheduling interviews and aims to name a head coach for next season’s Rainbow Wahine volleyball team soon.
“Our goal is that in the next couple of weeks we will know who our coach is going to be next year,” athletic director David Matlin said Thursday.
The Rainbow Wahine are scheduled to play the first of three spring exhibition matches Feb. 28. Matlin said he would not rule out a return for a 43rd season by Dave Shoji, who has been involved in the process as he undergoes treatment for prostate cancer. Shoji, whose 1,202 career victories are the second-highest among women’s volleyball coaches, disclosed his illness in December.
Matlin refused to say how many candidates will be interviewed, saying only, “It is a fluid process.” Monday afternoon was the listed deadline “for best consideration” of applications and UH said “about 40” had been received as of Thursday. Matlin said those applications “have been reviewed.”
But the advertisement of the position mandated a “continuous recruitment until position is filled,” meaning that subsequent applications may be considered. Shoji, Matlin and representatives of the school’s Office of Human Resources and athletic compliance office have been reviewing candidates.
The position carries a salary range of $76,440$143,472, but it may be exceeded by more than 25 percent upon approval of the Board of Regents. For example, Shoji’s salary topped $180,000.
Current women’s head coaches Dan Fisher (Pittsburgh), Mike Sealy (UCLA) and Scott Wong (Pepperdine) were reportedly among the four names Shoji recommended to Matlin before the hiring process began.
All have coached at UH, Sealy and Wong as associates under Shoji, and Fisher, a former UH men’s player, under Charlie Wade. Wong has subsequently told the Star-Advertiser he is not applying. Sealy has a contract that already pays him in excess of $180,000 with the Bruins. Meanwhile, interim Rainbow Wahine coach Jeff Hall, who also coached under Wade, has said he would apply.
Neither one’s right and neither one’s wrong. They both make valid points.
What is clear is high school football has gotten to that regrettable place where the pros and bigtime college programs have long been: Coaches get hired to get fired — even coaches who are universally considered “good.”
When Amosa was let go after nine years as head coach at his alma mater after last season, I wondered why. His teams won 56 games and lost 41.
He put everything he had into the program — including much of his lessthan-$4,000 annual stipend.
Sam Delos Reyes, like Amosa, always tries to do the right thing for his student-athletes and school. He’s the athletic director at Campbell who decided it was time for a new coach.
“It’s something where we went through a lot of discussion. It was a tough decision to make,” Delos Reyes said. “In terms of wins and losses we were successful.” Amosa’s character never came into question, and Delos Reyes said there were no team academic or behavioral problems.
In our interview Thursday, the AD didn’t say much else for the record, other than, “It’s time for us to see if we can move in another direction.” As Johnson said, part of that direction is trying to get more of the considerable talent in Campbell’s district to stay at Campbell.
This parallels what Delos Reyes did 34 years ago when he coached at Nanakuli.
The Golden Hawks lost 1512 to Saint Louis in the 1983 Prep Bowl, but many considered it a miracle they got that far. One of the biggest reasons was that, unlike in previous years, some top athletes in the Nanakuli district did not end up at powerhouse neighbor Waianae. Delos Reyes protected the border.
“My take on that is always that I’ve got no business to
tell a kid’s parents where he’s going to go to high school,” said Amosa, who continues as a teacher at Campbell, at least for now. The most notable leakage of player talent from Campbell’s district has been the quarterback record-setting Tagovailoa brothers. Tua went to Saint Louis and became a prized college recruit. Taulia went to Kapolei as a district exception for two years. But, as Christian Shimabuku reported on HawaiiPrepWorld.com on Thursday, the family, including Taulia, will move to Alabama
to be close to Tua, now a freshman at Tuscaloosa. Taulia has two more years of high school, and a scholarship offer from Alabama. Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez hired Amosa to replace offensive coordinator June Jones, who groomed Taulia. Jones, the former University of Hawaii head coach, left for a job at Saint Louis that is part fundraiser, part coach-in-waiting. Amosa and Hernandez have been friends since intermediate school and were teammates at Campbell and UH. Hernandez was the head
coach at Campbell, and also was let go despite a winning record, in 1999. His offensive coordinator then? Amosa Amosa.
Both Hernandez and Amosa insist they hold no grudge against their alma mater.
“We’ll always be black and orange. We’re proud to be alumni of Campbell High,” Amosa said.
As for any border war, in the case of Taulia Tagovailoa that is now the University of Alabama’s concern. “I understand the (family’s) choice to move to be together
with Tua,” said Hernandez, whose Hurricanes went 10-3 and reached the state Open Division semifinals last fall — the best season in Kapolei’s 15-year history, all of them with him as the head coach. “There’s rumors every day about a lot of things, including our quarterback. When you throw for 42 touchdowns as a sophomore, I would say even nationally they’re looking at a kid of that caliber. … It’s totally up to the parents.” So the Hurricanes need a new starting quarterback. But it would be wrong to say they’re “in the market” for one.
“Kids come and go for various reasons. It is not my policy nor my style to go out and recruit players,” Hernandez said. “My whole opinion is it’s based on the parents. If you live in the district and register with the front office and your kid has grades and passes the physical, then we’ll talk story.”
Hawaii fans danced in the stands during the second half against Massachusetts on Nov. 26 at Aloha Stadium.