In 2009, University of Hawai'i coach Dave Shoji became just the second head coach in NCAA Division I women's volleyball history to reach the 1,000-win milestone, as he now has accumulated 1,016 career victories, ranking second all-time in Division I. The campaign was the ninth NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship to which Shoji has marched the Rainbow Wahine, and the program's 28th NCAA Tournament appearance overall. Hawai'i, under Shoji's guidance, has also made 25 NCAA Regional Appearances and have totaled 18, 30-plus win seasons. During his time at the helm, Shoji and the Rainbow Wahine have captured four national championships: an AIAW title in 1979 and three NCAA Division I crowns (1982, '83 and ‘87).
The accolades for Shoji have poured in over the years. He is a ten-time conference coach of the year and has twice been selected the AVCA National Coach of the Year (1982 and 2009). Shoji was honored with an All-Time Great Coach Award in the Donald S. Shondell Contemporary Division 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.
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. 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.
"Dave is a great and gracious competitor," says AVCA Hall of Fame member and former University of Nebraska head coach Terry Pettit in an endorsement letter of Shoji's nomination. "The Hawai'i fans, I believe, reflect his demeanor and sportsmanship. As last year's participation in the NCAA semifinals gives evidence, no one has maintained a top-level program for as long as Dave Shoji at the University of Hawai'i."