Wong leaving for Pepperdine

Wong is taking the head indoor job at Pepperdine, replacing Troy Tanner who announced he was leaving last week.
Some of you may have heard it on Bobby’s show this morning.
Had tried to confirm it yesterday but … sometimes you get it first, sometimes you don’t. Not happy but UH and Papperdine had agreed to a joint announcement today at 8 a.m. HST.

Scott said it was a very tough decision. He’ll be leaving for Pepperdine no later than January. So there will be a big decision for both the indoor and Sand program.


  1. haleiwacrossfitter December 10, 2014 8:50 am

    Re-posting this here:

    SUPER disappointed in Scott Wong leaving. This pretty much says he does not want the UH coaching job either because I think he would have stuck around if he really did knowing that Dave is near retirement.

    Our sand team is going to suffer….big time. So will our indoor recruits. Scott has been bringing in some quality recruits. This leaves too much up in the air this up coming year for both programs. I am very worried. HUGE loss for UH.

  2. Cruisecontrol December 10, 2014 9:04 am

    Can’t see Dave leaving now or anytime in the near future. I don’t think he’ll want to leave the program at such a critical time, at least until the dust has settled and the smoke has cleared, etc. etc.

  3. pouncer84 December 10, 2014 9:23 am

    Maybe Kevin would want to take over sand. Doubt he would want indoor tho.

    Always thought Dave would stay another 2 years. This morning he sounded like he already decided to return next year.

  4. setaone December 10, 2014 9:25 am

    Who can come in and do the recruiting that Scott did, and so effectively? I know Dave is a living legend, but its hard to see a 60+ trying to connect with 16 and 17 year old girls.

    How involved was Robyn with recruiting?

  5. vbfan December 10, 2014 9:48 am

    I don’t blame Scott for taking the Pepperdine job, he has to do what’s best for him and his family. Even if he applied for the Hawaii job when Dave retired there was no guarantee he was going to get the job.

    It might be tough hiring a replacement knowing that Dave won’t be there much longer. Dave might want to announce that this coming year will be his last and that the new assistant will be his successor. This can help to insure a smooth transition. This is what they did at Nebraska when John Cook was an assistant to Terry Pettit during his last year.

  6. Kalihifc December 10, 2014 10:12 am

    When Wade left, I was concerned, but Dave got Sealy. When he left, I was concerned, but Dave got Wong. Btw, all left for head jobs. I’m sure Dave will get someone really good.

  7. Cubicle1126 December 10, 2014 10:14 am

    congrats to Scott Wong … tremendous opportunity! the time was right for him to step into a head coaching job. and thanks for all you gave to the wahine program!

  8. Cubicle1126 December 10, 2014 10:15 am

    i think we shouldn’t try to read or forecast what wong’s (or other former assistants’) intentions are. no one can know if wong (or sealy or anyone else) has designs on applying for shoji’s position when he retires. he has too much of a connection here to think he wouldn’t apply.

    if anything, having a head coach position on the resume HELPS wong, if/when he decides he wants to apply for shoji’s job when it becomes open. he’ll have the strong connection to hawaii and the program, as well as head coaching experience. the job can also help him reestablish/strengthen some recruiting pipelines, which again would help him in this current position, and any position he sought after that.

    i do think though that this increases the odds that shoji stays a little while longer. maybe at least 2 more years, to get another assistant up to speed and settled, along with ah-mow-santos. while the athletic dept as a whole is in chaos right now, i feel like shoji’s corner of the athletic department has always been pretty stable.

    and let’s face it … has there ever been a time when the UH athletic department has been entirely stable? … there’s just been pockets of stability and volatility all over.

    i recall shoji saying in a radio interview once that when head coaching positions open up, he always encourages his assistants to apply. that’s the reality of an assistant position … you’re aspiring to get a head coaching job. i would expect nothing else than for shoji to be supportive if/when that kind of opportunity presents itself for someone he’s mentored.

  9. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 10:18 am

    1. thanks for reposting and for finding the new thread.
    don’t know if I agree with all of your comments. Whether either or both programs suffer, will depend on the hire.
    Shoji said the first priority is indoor, that if they can find someone qualified to do both indoor and sand it would be a bonus but doesn’t know if that person exists.

  10. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 10:21 am

    2. did ask Shoji about that. he said it may be more about who the new AD is. Don’t know how to read into that.
    And did ask Wong what would happen if Shoji decided to retire before next season. He said he is committed to Pepperdine at least for a year. That’s unlike the UCLA situation where McCutcheon was hired, then took the Minnesota job, albeit for good family reasons. Which then left the door open for Sealy who was UCLA’s second choice.
    This reminds me very much of the Sealy situation. Both said they’d only leave Hawaii for one reason, to return to their alma maters.

  11. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 10:25 am

    3. agree with you. My thought has long been that he’d stay through 2016.
    He and I haven’t spoken much about the who retirement thing. He’s tired of answering that question. But did talk about it Saturday night after they lost (comments ran in Monday’s story) and today. Asked if Scott’s leaving affected his decision one way or another. He said it didn’t, and that he hasn’t made a decision.
    Agree he wouldn’t leave now. He also said that there is no guarantee that a new coach would keep the current staff , that the assistants’ jobs are always tenuous.

  12. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 10:30 am

    5. the thing about Shoji’s replacement, it would not be as simple as Shoji saying that his lead assistant will be the next head coach. UH’s hiring process would not allow for that unless that was stipulated in the job description. All Shoji can do is recommend to the search committee who he’d like see replace him.
    But who knows what the agenda of that committee would be. there could be a lot of pressure to hire a woman but I can’t think of anyone who has the credentials to take this job at the moment.
    Ah Mow-Santos is a logical contender but don’t know if her personal life would allow it. 2 young kids, ailing father, husband who has deployment commitments.

    And we also know that committee recommendations often go unheeded. Can think of 2 in the last few years at UH. It will all depend on who has the final say.

  13. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 10:32 am

    3. Kevin might be an interesting choice, particular for sand. Scott was going a stipend for sand in addition to his salary for indoor. Don’t know if UH could fully fund the head sand job.

  14. rage777 December 10, 2014 10:43 am

    12. There is Deitre Collins-Parker.

  15. roxy December 10, 2014 10:44 am

    Or how about Tom Pestolesi?

  16. Andrew December 10, 2014 10:47 am


    Do you think if it is a couple more years until Shoji retires that Sealy may considering returning to Hawaii to apply for the job? He has been at UCLA for a few years and has won a national championship there, but I always got the feeling that the Hawaii job was always on his radar.

    Also do you think it’s possible that a high profile assistant somewhere at another school may view the new assistant position at UH as a stepping stone to possibly apply for the job when it opens? I know Shoji said on the show this morning that it may be difficult to get someone good to replace Wong considering Shoji is on a year to year decision himself.

  17. Pete Jek December 10, 2014 11:00 am

    The good news is that there won’t be a shortage of interested applicants.

    The bad news is that they’re probably not as good as Wong.

  18. Turfwar December 10, 2014 11:05 am

    Scott should be given the choice as head coach in waiting for a year unless Dave wants to continue for 3-4 more years but that’s not what he’s indicating like he did several years ago. If Dave is staying for 3 or so more years then this gig would help Scott and the Wahine program as they would then be getting a seasoned head coach. But it does put pressure on Dave to make a decision now for the betterment of the Wahine program.

  19. warriorfan December 10, 2014 11:14 am

    Congrats to Scott. Hired at his alma mater.
    16. People said the same thing when Sealy left , lol,, Shoji will find someone, he has a good track record since all his associate coaches eventually become head coaches.

    I am just a bit worried UH will hit another lull in recruiting for 2016 and 2017, hope he hires someone with recruiting ties right now, Scott was at a lower level program at USF before UH so this time I hope shoji hires someone currently assisting at a bigger program .

  20. warriorfan December 10, 2014 11:17 am

    Why not give the beach head coaching job to Michelle Meyer? She’s been acting head coach all fall and I think she will do a fine job.

  21. Hodad December 10, 2014 11:19 am

    When Donovan was AD, he told me he would go after Sealy when Dave retired. He also said he thought he would take it because his family loved Hawaii, the crowds we get, etc. This was before Scott proved so effective. I was really hoping Scott would succeed Dave.

  22. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 11:22 am

    14. spoke to Deitre a few weeks ago about something unrelated. But I did ask her that. She said no, she wouldn’t apply when it became available.

  23. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 11:23 am

    15. I”ve always thought Sealy was a possibility.

  24. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 11:26 am

    17. not how the hiring process works at UH.
    Also, if that scenario was in place, there’s no way Wong or any coach gets hired elsewhere.
    don’t see it putting pressure on Shoji one way or another. He said Wong’s decision has no impact on what he would decide.

  25. Kazu December 10, 2014 11:27 am

    I guess most of my questions have been answered already. Congratulations to Coach Wong. I asked a question few days ago and that was i wonder how many girls had decided to come to play for the Wahine because of the program or coaches. Maybe i’ll find out now that Wong is going if any of the girls he recruited will decide not to come or leave.
    Another interesting situation at UH. I think Shoji will find someone else that will fit in or maybe Wong knows someone that he can recommend.

  26. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 11:29 am

    19. no one said that wasn’t a possibility. But that position is in Shoji’s hands from what Wong told me.

  27. karin December 10, 2014 11:32 am

    Wonder if Kawika would fit in as an assistant. Would have to give up his spot on the NT, but as of now only a setter off the bench. He probably needs a few years of seasoning and wouldn’t take over for Dave as early as 2017, but in time I see a lot of upside for a promising top program D1 head coach.

  28. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 11:32 am

    24. Wong may have been the main recruiter but Shoji plays a big part in a player’s commitment. As does Ah Mow-Santos. As does the Hawaii program itself.

  29. Andrew December 10, 2014 11:32 am

    Bums me out that when Shoji decides to retire, it seem like that it is going to happen after the end of a season. It would be nice if he was able to get recognized not only at home but on the road games as well like a farewell tour. I always thought that would be the year to maybe do a few road games at some big name places like UCLA, Penn State, etc.

  30. Andrew December 10, 2014 11:33 am


    I would think setters especially would see Robyn as a big reason to come to UH considering her big accomplishments and her ability to develop setters.

  31. Kazu December 10, 2014 11:35 am

    How about Lisa Strand Ma’a for Sand.

  32. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 11:43 am

    26. Don’t see that happening K. Shoji is playing professionally and is committed to the National Team. Plus, he doesn’t have the coaching background which likely is part of the requirements.

  33. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 11:44 am

    28. Agree. Scates got his farewell tour. Banachowski didn’t because he retired right after the season.

  34. warriorfan December 10, 2014 11:46 am

    I think Kawika would be great but he has a legitimate chance to make the Rio Olympic Roster.

    I just think we need to find another Sealy/Wong type.

    If Matt Anderson continues to be retired/taking a break from competitive volleyball, maybe give him a call??

  35. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 11:47 am

    29-30. I’m sure lots of names will be thrown out for both.
    Did ask Shoji about Ah Mow-Santos. But again, she has two young children, takes care of her ailing father, husband is subject to lengthy deployments.
    Lisa has a full time job that pays a lot more than what sand would pay. plus she still has children not out of high school yet.

  36. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 11:48 am

    33. don’t think you have to call anyone. the word is out. There will be tons of applicants.

  37. Andrew December 10, 2014 11:53 am


    Oh sorry I meant Robyn as an assistant since she already works with the setters and what would happen to recruiting going forward without Wong.

  38. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 11:59 am

    37. The staff all helps with recruiting so not seeing that much changes. And Shoji is the one who determines what duties his assistants have.

  39. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 12:04 pm

    15. this is starting to remind me of who is UH recruiting. Couple of good names being tossed out but just because UH might want someone, doesn’t mean they would want the job. Pestolesi would be an interesting hire since he could be the 2-for-1 that Wong was. But don’t know if Tom, likely the national COY this year, would want to leave IVC. plus wife Diane tenured professor of nursing at Saddleback.

  40. warriorfan December 10, 2014 12:14 pm

    Would love Pesto but right, don’t think he will want to uproot and move from Cali.
    Is his son tommy coaching?

  41. Cruisecontrol December 10, 2014 12:15 pm

    With all the turmoil going on at the top at UH, how will that affect the ability of UH to recruit a good head coach to take over the Wahine VB program, much less both a good head coach and assistant, if Shoji leaves now? Then there’s the matter of current players who may decide to leave, and incoming recruits who may decide to go elsewhere. Shoji has worked so hard and long to build this program to where it’s at today, to leave it at such a critical time and risk having it fall. I really hope he decides to stay at least a couple more years until everything stabilizes before retiring.

  42. AdmrVT December 10, 2014 2:07 pm

    #9. Odd. With the sand season beginning in early March, I would think finding a sand coach would have priority, unless the new assistant would do both. In either case, UH likely has 60 days, more or less, to find a sand coach.

    Is an interim, temporary coach an option? Difficult transition though.

  43. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 2:32 pm

    42. addressed the 2-for-1 at No. 9.
    Priority is indoor. if they can get someone to do both, then no need to hire sand head.

  44. Andrew December 10, 2014 2:49 pm

    Did anyone else remember on the UH vs UW match on TV, the PAC12 announcers introduced Dave as the coach with the most wins in D-1 volleyball, but didn’t Russ Rose pass him awhile ago? Well they also mentioned that Dave accomplished it this season, and we all know that’s not true.

  45. warriorfan December 10, 2014 3:03 pm

    42. UH does have an assistant sand coach, who mostly ran the team while Scott was with indoor team. I think UH might just name her the interim head coach if the new assistant doesn’t coach sand. They will be fine IMO

  46. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 3:06 pm

    agree with you WF

  47. Mith December 10, 2014 3:40 pm

    if i heard it correctly on Curran’s show, dave said getting a good assistant may not be easy because dave himself is only accepting a 1 year contract from UH. all assistants tenure will be dependent on head coach. an assistant would have to accept that after one year, he/she may have to look for another job.

  48. warriorfan December 10, 2014 3:42 pm

    Or maybe UH can hire a head coach in waiting who will be promised the job after Shoji retires.
    I’d love it if Dan Fisher was the one, but he would have to leave Pitt.

  49. AdmrVT December 10, 2014 3:50 pm

    #47. Unless VB is different, assistant coaches typically are on 1 year contracts anyway — although there is a recent movement in P5 conferences to go with 2-yr. contracts for assistants in football.

  50. uhfan December 10, 2014 3:52 pm

    Dave should poach back and go after David Hunt

  51. Warriorfan December 10, 2014 4:58 pm

    Hunt is interesting, he has experience with the womens national team and Dunphy thinks really highly of him.

    how about Tanner who just quit pepperdine?? LOL
    at least we would get a tie in with his volleyball club , that keeps sending it’s stars to UW.

  52. Warriorfan December 10, 2014 5:26 pm

    I am just joking about Tanner btw. Can’t wait to see who applies.

  53. bleachercoach December 10, 2014 6:43 pm

    Great opportunity for Scott Wong. Anyway I feel that Shoji could bring in Deitre Collins.. Her experience on being an All -American, Olympian, and Head Coach serves her well.
    She knows our local culture due to playing here so her relationship with the girls may be a right fit…Robyn should be her top assistant and keep on working on our setters and more involvement. Robyn has a young family so we don’t want her to sacrifice that…Shoji should transition a new head coach as soon as possible and should regulate himself as an assistant/volunteer. It is time to move forward to a new era without abandoning new or future 2016 recruits…We don’t want him to retire but it is inevitable he will…With Scott leaving now, this may be the time to make a move or it will still be next year’s problem. As for Sand, the Sand Team should decide on Michelle Meyer and see if Kevin Wong would join the Sand/Indoor Staff….(JMO)

  54. wildcard December 10, 2014 8:33 pm

    there is great misfortune for na wahine and sandbows! scott wong leaving for pepperdine.

    that is because of the fault of this person, po’okela who bachi’d it up here at #36

    but scott is getting promoted at his alma mater so congratulations to him!

  55. PBnJz December 10, 2014 9:12 pm

    I don’t know why Sealy would come back to UH or why we’d want him. It looks to me like he only won a National Championship with Banachowski’s remaining recruits and hasn’t done much on his own to date! I think Scott will be back and while I hate to see him go now, I think his time at Pepp should help his chances to return as HC!

  56. Warriorfan December 10, 2014 9:35 pm

    It really depends on how Scott does at Pepperdine, if he leads them to the top 15 again, then UH will definitely want him. It also depends how much longer Shoji stays, if he retires after the 2015 or 2016 seasons, that is too early. I doubt Scott would bolt after just a few seasons at Pepperdine, especially after Tanner bolted after one season there.

  57. Not an Expert December 10, 2014 9:45 pm

    Shoji will be able to find a quality assistant without much problem. Why, his last 3 assistants all landed head coaching jobs. Who would not take a chance based on that trend.

  58. bleachercoach December 10, 2014 10:07 pm

    Why don’t we bring back some of the last 1987 squad members (last NCAA National Champions) who knows what it takes to win a championship…A little flavor of that…Heather Bown, Robyn, D. Collins, Tee Williams, Angelica L., and Tita Ahuna (cause they know what it takes and feels like)
    I really liked Charlie Wade too although he is the men’s coach…He brought tenacity and energy…We need to mix in some emotional passionate coaching with the high volleyball I .Q. type of coaches. If Sealy would come back it would be good only if he surrounded himself with Robyn or one of the past local icons. You get a great mainland recruiter and the local flavor to interact locally which equates to the our next national championship!!! Just another thought

  59. Warriorfan December 10, 2014 10:09 pm

    Not just landed head coaching jobs, but head coaching jobs at former volleyball powers, Pacific, UCLA, Pepperdine. Even Howard Wallace got a head coaching job at Creighton.

  60. Warriorfan December 10, 2014 10:11 pm

    Basically if you aspire to be a head coach at a good D1 program, You should apply to be associate head coach at Hawaii, because if you get the job it will happen eventually.

  61. bleachercoach December 10, 2014 10:12 pm

    I hope our mainland girls currently or future don’t pull a fast one and decide to transfer to Pepperdine. Even with the loyal arrangements let’s see if the athletes would want to transfer for more playing time or stay closer to home. Well, we cannot control the athletes minds right?

  62. Chicken Grease December 11, 2014 6:17 am

    vbfan December 10, 2014 at 9:48 am
    I don’t blame Scott for taking the Pepperdine job, he has to do what’s best for him and his family. Even if he applied for the Hawaii job when Dave retired there was no guarantee he was going to get the job

    A Grease agrees with this . . . the way things are going in lower campus? This is a smart move.

    Lower campus deserves no sympathy (except for the student-athletes, who should be supported). The paid people there need to start getting to work.

  63. blunite December 11, 2014 6:57 am

    Perhaps a coach with international experience could bring fresh ideas and open the foreign pipeline to UH again. Dave and Scott only know the slow high and wide offense. Someone like Milan Zarkovic with 10 yrs as Head Coach of the Serbian National Team, has experienced the gamut of offenses and defenses. He is currently helping Charlie Wade and seems to exhibit a positive aura everywhere he goes.

  64. blunite December 11, 2014 7:26 am

    Ben Jay promised a position to Shoji upon retirement, which may no longer apply. Dave will wait at least until the new AD comes on-board; to see which way the wind blows. Since Dave had delegated all duties to his assistant (Scott Wong) I don’t see that changing with a new hire. An in-house hire may also work (Milan Zarkovic).

  65. Cindy Luis December 11, 2014 7:55 am

    53. Deitre has said she doesn’t want the job. She is very happy at SDSU

  66. Cindy Luis December 11, 2014 7:58 am

    55. I feel Sealy would be interested in the job. As would Wong when it becomes open. but much is going to depend on the agenda the selection committee has.
    there likely will be a huge push to have a woman, sadly regardless if that is who is best qualified.

  67. Cindy Luis December 11, 2014 8:03 am

    63. they aren’t going to bring in a coach without some knowledge of Hawaii and U.S. recruiting so don’t see them going international.
    64. Jay’s comment was more of a joke, not a promise.
    shoji did say that his decision to stay could hinge on who the new AD is.
    Not true that Wong had all the duties. Ah Mow-Santos has duties. And, as Shoji said Wednesday, he is the one who determines what duties his assistant has.
    Zarkovic wouldn’t work.

  68. Cindy Luis December 11, 2014 10:30 am

    58. of the names you mention, only Ahuna and Williams were on the 87 team. Collins-Parker 82-83. The others never won an NCAA title.

  69. Sharene December 11, 2014 10:56 am

    I feel uncomfortable with the comments here and on the other article about people referring to Wong’s looks and how it affect recruiting. It’s sketchy.

    1: Wong is a married man and a father

    2: I doubt girls are looking for teams with handsome coaches.

    When I was in sports (a long, long time ago) a grandfather figure was more nurturing and encouraging. Most of all, talent.

    The strength of the program should be enough to recruit. I don’t think we have problems with recruits but we choose from the best of the recruits for the positions needed.

  70. Kazu December 11, 2014 2:42 pm

    69. I read some post about the girls looking for good looking coaches, if that is true UH would be out of luck if we end up having an all female coaching staff. ( Ha)

  71. bleachercoach December 11, 2014 4:21 pm

    58…True….but the other girls I mentioned were very Impactful to their respectful years in the 90’s…shouldn’t have been more clear…

  72. bleachercoach December 11, 2014 4:22 pm

    Oops…should have been more clear..sorry Cindy

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