Joined OCC: March 23, 1972
Elected to Winged “O”: February 13, 2017
When Dave Shoji got the news in a phone call from Ron Sorrell, he says he was “blown away.” Ron’s news was that Dave was to be inducted into the Winged “O”. Despite the many prestigious awards he has received as he approaches his 43rd year as UH Wahine Volleyball coach, Dave considers it a great honor to be chosen to join “that elite group,” as he refers to Outrigger Canoe Club’s special athletes who have contributed so much over the years to ensure that the Club continues its mission as an outstanding venue for water sports and volleyball.
Although many think that Dave is “a local boy,” he was born in Upland, California. When he was three years old his father was hired as a professor of botany and plant physiology at the University of Hawaii and his family moved to Honolulu.
He attended elementary and middle school at Waikiki, Aina Haina and Niu Valley before returning to Upland for high school when his father left UH and took a position with C. Brewer and Co. The job involved traveling abroad and as Dave’s mother accompanied her husband, Dave returned to California to live with an aunt.
He later attended the University of California at Santa Barbara where he first learned to play sand volleyball. He soon joined the indoor team as setter and in his senior year, his team won the College National Championship. Dave won All-American honors in 1968 and 1969. As much as he enjoyed the sport, and as much as he was an exceptional player, little did he think that volleyball would become his life-long career.
After graduation and a two-year stint in the Army, Dave returned to Hawaii in 1972. He soon joined the Outrigger Canoe Club, sponsored by Tommy Haine, Hawaii’s legendary Olympic volleyball player. Dave had met Tommy on the mainland while participating in various volleyball tournaments.
Dave played for Outrigger in the USAV National Championships in the Open Division. In 1975 he was on the winning National AAU Men’s Volleyball Championship Outrigger team. When he joined the Masters 35 in 1982, the team won the National Championship three straight years.
In 1975 Dave was hired by the University of Hawaii as a part-time Wahine Volleyball Coach, never imagining that he would hold the job for more than forty years. Neither did he dream that he would bring his team, year after year, into the national spotlight. In 1981 Dave became the first full-time coach for a women’s program at UH as he continued to lead his players to one national title after the other.
Dave met his wife, Mary, an outstanding basketball player, at UH in the early 1980s. Their two sons, Kawika and Erik, have followed in their father’s footsteps, having played in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where they won bronze medals. They are both currently playing professional volleyball in Russia.
His eldest child, daughter Cobey, also excelled in the game, having played for University of Nevada at Las Vegas and Michigan. She presently lives in South Carolina where her husband is football coach at the University of South Carolina.
While coaching the UH Wahine, Dave continued to play for Outrigger and also found time to coach Outrigger open and masters teams throughout the 70’s and 80’s. It worked out well as the Wahine play in the fall and the Club’s teams in the spring. He held the dual positions for many years.
Under his leadership the OCC Boys 14s won the USAV Championship in 2002, and his other youth teams were runnersup in 2000 (12s), 2004 (16s), and 2006 (17s).
In 2005 Dave was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame. He also found time to play on the Club’s perennial Mountain Ball and Soft Ball championship teams and served on the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation Board of Directors.
Dave has been awarded many honors while coaching at UH including most wins in Division I Women’s Volleyball in 2013. His incredible resume also includes being chosen twice as AVCA National Coach of the year, and ten times as AVCA West Region Coach of the year. He was also chosen WAC Coach of the year ten times, and USA Volleyball All-Time Great Volleyball Coach. A most impressive resume!
Despite the many national honors he has merited over his long career, Dave is still excited to have become part of Outrigger’s Winged “O”. The Club is even more pleased to have Dave as a member who has shared his exceptional skills and talent with the Club that has been a special part of his and his family’s life for many years. It’s a place where he and Mary still spend a good deal of time; stand-up paddling is their favorite ocean sport and enables them to enjoy their special love of the ocean.
Congratulations, Dave, and mahalo for your invaluable contributions.
- Dave played on the OCC Mountainball and Softball teams from 1972 to 1987, winning numerous league championships.
- He was named MVP of the Mountain Ball League in 1983.
- Chaired the 1973 Volleyball Committee.
- Served as a member of the committee in 1978, 1979 and 2005.
- Served on the Board of Directors of the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation from 2004-2009 (3 two-year terms)
OCC VOLLEYBALL TEAMS (PLAYER/COACH)
- Dave played on OCC’s 1975 National AAU Championship Men’s Open VB team.
- He coached and played on OCC’s AAU teams in 1973, 1976, 1977 and 1978.
- He played and coached OCC’s USAV teams in the Men’s Open division from 1974-1981.
- In 1982 he moved up to the Masters Men’s 35 team, and played on the national championship OCC teams in 1982, 1983 and 1984. The team was runnerup in 1985 and finished fourth in 1987.
COACHING YOUTH TEAMS
- In 2000, Shoji coached the OCC Boys 12 and under team to a second place finish in the USAV Junior Olympics.
- In 2002, Shoji’s OCC Boys 14 team won the USAV Junior Olympics.
- In 2004 Shoji and his fellow coaches coached the Boys 16s to a second place in the USAV Junior Olympics.
- In 2006 Shoji coached the Boys 17 and under team to a second place in the USAV Junior Olympics.