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Shoji named national coach of the year


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POSTED: Thursday, December 17, 2009

TAMPA, Fla. » It's been a magical season for Hawaii volleyball coach Dave Shoji, with him reaching 1,000 career victories and his team in the final four for the first time since 2003.

It got even better today. Shoji was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year at the coaches honors luncheon at the Tampa Convention Center.

It was the second time Shoji has earned the top honor in his 35-year career with the Rainbow Wahine, the first since 1982.

“;It's really humbling and, yes, unexpected,”; Shoji said. “;It wasn't me out on there on the court. Give credit to our players, and to my staff, for this.”;

Shoji was one of eight region coaches of the year eligible for the national honor. He was named the AVCA West Region Coach of the Year last week, the 10th time he earned the regional honor.

No. 3 Hawaii (32-2) will take on top-seeded Penn State (36-0) in an NCAA national semifinal today at the St. Pete Times Forum. The Wahine have won their last 28 matches.

Hawaii captured its 10th straight Western Athletic Conference tournament title last month and secured its 14th consecutive WAC regular-season title with a perfect 16-0 league mark. Shoji was named the WAC Coach of the Year.

Shoji (1,016-175-1) ranks second all-time in winning percentage (.852) and has had the Wahine in the postseason 34 of his 35 seasons, with four national championships.