An interesting Wahine volleyball coaching hire

July 31st, 2008

Sorry, thought it had been posted earlier. It is an interesting hire but Ryan does work well with the players. Ryan Tsuji, part of the Hawaii women’s volleyball program the past seven seasons, has been promoted to assistant coach for the upcoming season.Tsuji is replacing associate coach Kari Ambrozich, who is on maternity leave. Ambrozich and husband Eric, a former UH basketball player, welcomed son Trey July 11.“I am very honored and blessed to have this opportunity,” Tsuji told the Star-Bulletin today. “I’m excited to be in a new role and honored that Dave (Rainbow Wahine coach Shoji) would respect me enough to give me this opportunity.”Tsuji (Waiakea ’02) has been the team manager for the past five seasons. Ambrozich will return to help with administrative duties in October and as an active coach next January.“By hiring Ryan, we will go through an easy transition,” Shoji said. “This will be a great opportunity for him.”Hawaii opens camp Aug. 9. The Wahine open the season with defending NCAA champion Penn State Aug. 29.

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  • FJ August 1, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Why is this an interesting hire?

  • Don August 1, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    My guess as to the “interesting hire” is that the other UH Women’s assistant, Mike Sealy, has way more experience coaching at the D-I level, rather than chemistry with the players.

    He was a UCLA men’s assistant and former player under UCLA’s Men’s coach Al Scates.

    • Cindy Luis August 1, 2008 at 4:39 pm

      I think Sealy has excellent chemistry with the players. I just thought it was an interesting hire given Ryan’s lack of college experience outside of UH.
      Sealy also was an assistant to the women’s team with Banachowski at UCLA.

  • Cindy Luis August 1, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    I suppose there are other words that can describe it. Unexpected is one for those who have been guessing that others in the community might be the hire. Such as Robyn Ah Mow. Jen Carey was in town and there was speculation it might be her but she has left Texas A&M and will be at Georgia Tech in the fall.

  • Don August 1, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    What about Mike Sealy? He was an assistant in UCLA’s Men’s program and player under Al Scates.

    • Cindy Luis August 1, 2008 at 4:35 pm

      Sealy is already on staff as an associate head coach. Not sure I understand your question?

  • Hal August 1, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Is this a permanent promotion? I get the impression that Ambrozich will eventually return to her old position.

    • Cindy Luis August 2, 2008 at 9:04 am

      as the initial post says, Kari returns to administrative duties and October and to her position in January

  • Lyle August 1, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    “Interesting hire” is a diplomatic way of saying, what the _ _ _ _ kind of move was that?

    Assistant coach? For someone who has no college game coaching experience?

    This is DI VB! I guess with his new contract Coach Shoji feels he’s got carte blanche!

    His “last contract” is just another 5 more years of mediocrity and stupid decisions!

    One saving grace is that it is his last contract!??? Please Coach! Say that it is!!!… Better yet, retire now and move to the mainland to see your sons play in college.

    • Cindy Luis August 2, 2008 at 9:13 am

      I don’t know if it’s his last contract. He certainly should be the one who decides when it’s time to retire. He’s been able to see Kawika play quite a bit and I’m sure he’ll see both during next spring.

      And, no, that wasn’t a diplomatic way of saying anything. It was meant to start the discussion. I don’t know how the process went. there may have been other people out there contacted who didn’t want to do it. Or maybe Ryan was seen as a good choice and easy transition for a short-term solution.
      It is temporary and not sure how many people would have been able to sign on for just five months.

  • Jimbo August 1, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    I’m sure Ryan will do well. Its a temporary
    job to Kari is ready for the court.

    Ryan strength is working well with the wahine. Cant say that most coaches have that talent to reach out to his players Ryan can.
    Been on the staff for awhile and he knows the system.

    Dave should let Ryan recruit.

  • Cindy Luis August 2, 2008 at 9:07 am

    I agree. anyone who has seen his interaction with the players would realize he is a very good coach and does know the system. When Charlie Wade was unable to participate in practices with an injury a few years back. Ryan stepped in for drills.

  • Former Player August 2, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    For those of you who may think that this is an “Interesting hire” let me assure all doubters that this was the best decision Dave has ever made. As a former player, I’ve worked with Dave and the staff, and Ryan is more qualified than many Division 1 coaches out there.

    To assume that he was just given the position based on connivence and an because it was easy transition is totally untrue. Ryan knows the game so well, and is able to really get the message across to the players in a way that the girls will respond. In some ways, I found it easier to listen to what Ryan was saying than our coaches. He not only knows the system, but he knows the game! If you haven’t noticed during the games, whose the one making sure everyone is in the right spot and keeps track of the subs, rotations, and gives input to Dave…RYAN, and that was when I was with the team as a manager. Dave would ask Ryan for advice or who to put into a game during tight situations.

    A little advice, don’t assume you know all there is to know about what goes on in this program. Ryan is the one who took care of all the little things and provided support to everyone, players and coache. In many ways, Ryan has been the one able to keep the players and coaches together, and quite frankly, it will be interesting to see what the program will be like when he leaves in December.

    • Cindy Luis August 2, 2008 at 11:44 pm

      Very well said. I agree that Ryan has been invaluable to the team.

  • Lyle August 2, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    When Ryan goes back to his old position, the program will be the same as when he took the assistant’s position.

    Coaches coach and players play. In the end, the execution of the players decide the direction the program takes and talent or the lack of it will ultimately be the overwhelming factor.

    The program will be mired in mediocrity until better talent arrives in Manoa.

  • unknown August 2, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    sorry to be harsh on you cindy,please forgive me, but you know how much Ryan does for the team and program.

    • Cindy Luis August 2, 2008 at 11:46 pm

      Didn’t think you were harsh at all. All I said was I didn’t know what all that went into the decision. I thought it was a good one. but to those who don’t know the insides of the program i made the mistake of trying to justify it. As the mother of a young volleyball coach, I like that they are given chances.

  • unknown August 2, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    the Jimbo on here is not the real Jimbo. . . And that’s a proven fact!

  • UHWVB Fan August 3, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Cindy: Spkg of recent coaching promotions and proving ones self, The preseason Hawaiian Air Tournament is coming up at the end of this month. Went UH eticket site as we do every year, but they weren’t selling anything but season tickets. How can we tickets for this tournament. Also noticed on the UH site that Elise Duggins, Ryana Kitaguchi aren’t on the roster, what happened?

  • Cindy Luis August 4, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I have a call into UH about the individual season tickets.

    As for Rayna and Elise, they haven’t been on the roster since before the spring match. You might have noticed that with Elizabeth not available for the first night that they were lacking libero.
    Actuall think they were off the web site roster before the Wahine had their banqet in late January.

    Haven’t seen nor spoken with either. I was told they had “retired.” I know Rayna wanted to spend more time on her degree work and since she wasn’t getting much time on the court. Elise wasn’t getting much time either.

  • wvbfan1 July 7, 2010 at 8:40 am


    can’t wait to see the new wvb lineup and play. i like to keep up with the latested info on the wahine volleyball. when or where is your column on the star-advertiser?

    what’s the latest on hartong, waber and croson? what’s your opinion on this years wvb team?

  • Cindy Luis July 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I think it’s going to be a great season. don’t have any more info on hartong, waber or croson. Croson is playing junior beach FIVB and junior indoor as well.
    hmmm, as for my ‘column’ I haven’t had an official weekly column since 2001. thanks for missing me.

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