Recently retired University of Hawaiʻi women’s volleyball head coach Dave Shoji was honored on May 21 at his Aloha Ball Retirement Celebration at the Stan Sheriff Center. The gala event recognized Shoji’s 42-year career of sustained excellence, which was highlighted by four national championships, nine NCAA Final Four appearances, 41 national tournament appearances and 25 conference crowns.
More than 1,500 people and more than 60 alumnae and current players, whose careers spanned all of his 42 seasons at UH, came to help honor the iconic coach. Former Rainbow Wahine libero Ashley Watanabe (2002–05) started the evening off by singing the National Anthem and Hawaiʻi Ponoʻi then former KGMB sports anchor and ESPN SportsCenter host Larry Beil served as the emcee for the evening’s program which started with video messages from Gov. David Ige, UH President and Interim Mānoa Chancellor David Lassner and UH Athletics Director David Matlin. Past and present Rainbow Wahine who were in attendance were then introduced and each received a lei from the “aunties” who were sitting in their normal courtside seats.