Hawaii volleyball coach takes leave for cancer treatment

HONOLULU (AP) The University of Hawaii has announced that its head women's volleyball coach will take a break to undergo cancer treatment.

Coach Dave Shoji said in a press release that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few weeks ago and will be undergoing treatment. Associate head coach Jeff Hall will take over while the 70-year-old Shoji is out.

''I was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few weeks ago but I did not want to announce it and become a distraction to the team,'' Shoji said in the release. ''I will be undergoing treatment that will take me away from my everyday coaching duties for the next several weeks. With the help of my team of doctors, my wife Mary, and the support of our family, I am trusting in God to get through this and see what my future holds.''

Shoji said he told his staff and players Sunday about his decision to go on leave.

The coach has spent 42 years with the Rainbow Wahine volleyball program. He guided the team to its fourth Big West conference title in five years and its 24th-straight and 35th overall NCAA Tournament appearance.

In the final week of the regular season, Shoji became the second NCAA Division I head volleyball coach to have 1,200 victories.

''When Dave and I met last week, I understood the depth of how much he cares for the program and his student-athletes,'' UH Athletics Director David Matlin said. ''He is an amazing coach and ambassador for the state of Hawaii, the University of Hawaii, and the sport of volleyball. We will continue to support him each and every step of the way.''

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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