Hawai'i's Dave Shoji Named 2009 AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year
TAMPA, Fla. (December 17, 2009) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce that University of Hawai'i head women's volleyball coach Dave Shoji has been selected as the 2009 AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year, while University of Oklahoma assistant women's volleyball coach Kelly Files has been named the organization's inaugural AVCA Division I National Assistant Coach of the Year.
Now in his 35th season, head coach Dave Shoji and his University of Hawai'i team have continued building their legacy in the volleyball world in 2009. Shoji, who picked up milestone win No. 1,000 on Oct. 17, coached the Rainbow Wahine to their 28th NCAA Tournament appearance and 25th NCAA Tournament Regional appearance in program history this season. The squad advanced the NCAA semifinal round for the ninth time, its first trip since 2003, when it swept the University of Michigan in last week's NCAA Division I Stanford Regional final.
The Shoji-led Rainbow Wahine steamrolled through the season with a 32-2 overall record, captured their 10th straight Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament title, secured their 14th consecutive WAC regular-season title with a perfect 16-0 league mark and are currently riding a 28-match win-streak.
Dubbed the WAC's Coach of the Year in 2009, Shoji is also one of just five coaches that have claimed four national championships. He will look to add title No. 5 to his collection on Thursday, Dec. 17 when the Rainbow Wahine battle two-time defending champion Penn State in an NCAA semifinal bout slated for 9:30 p.m. EST.
The honors have piled up for Shoji over the years. He is a ten-time conference and region Coach of the Year and was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year in 1982. Shoji was named to the list of all-time great coaches by USA Volleyball in 2002. He has also recently been inducted to Hawai‘i Sports Hall of Fame and was named as the coach of the NCAA 25th Anniversary team.
In 1975, a 28-year-old Shoji took over the then-second-year volleyball program. In 1981, Shoji became UH's first full-time coach for a women's program. Shoji was also responsible for the start of the men's volleyball program in 1978, serving as the men's coach at UH from 1978-85, compiling a record of 81-48 and leading the team to a Western Collegiate Volleyball Conference title in 1980.
Shoji was a two-sport athlete at UC Santa Barbara, where he played baseball for a year, along with three years of volleyball. He earned All-America honors as a volleyball player in 1968 and '69 and earned his bachelor's degree in physical education. After spending two years in the U.S. Army, Shoji returned to Hawai‘i to coach the Kalani High School girls' and boys' volleyball teams and later took an assistant coaching job at Punahou School.
Files has been a seven-year staple as Oklahoma's assistant coach. Her responsibilities with the Sooner program include recruiting, conditioning, on-the-floor coaching and administrative work. She helped OU to an 18-12 overall record and 11-9 mark in Big 12 action in 2009, a marked improvement from the program's 12-16 overall record and 8-12 conference mark just one year ago. In 2003, Files accepted her first full-time coaching position at her alma mater, Southern Miss, where she had previously served as a graduate assistant. She then moved on to OU in 2004.
Both coaches were formally presented with their awards at the 2009 jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Dec. 17. The luncheon is held in conjunction with the 2009 AVCA Annual Convention.