UH sched­ules in­ter­views for women’s vol­ley­ball coach

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - SPORTS - By Ferd Lewis flewis@starad­ver­tiser.com ——— The Star-Ad­ver­tiser’s Cindy Luis con­trib­uted to this re­port DAVE REARDON

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.

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