Wade Comes Home, Trap Extended
Friday - June 03, 2009
The recent hiring of Charlie Wade as the head coach for men’s volleyball will bring his nearly limitless energy to a program that had run low on fuel.
It seems like a long time ago when near-sellout crowds treated the team players more like members of U2 than a college volleyball team.
Wade brings a history of excellent recruiting, and has long been acknowledged for his work in the practice gym, but he must stand out most for his vision for the future of the program.
“I know that people love volleyball in Hawaii,” says Wade. “I want to get them more involved with us. We’ll have fundraisers, but they’ll really be friendraisers. I want to have social events that will bring fans closer to the program.”
Part of Wade’s vision involves getting the program back on a sound financial plane, and he has a three-year plan to make men’s volleyball profitable again.
“We need to average 5,500 fans per game. We’ve got to win, and when we do, people will come,” says Wade.
The winning will entail convincing some of Hawaii’s top prep talent to stay home.
“The best teams in the MPSF are stocked with Hawaii players,” says Wade. “We need them to take a good look at us.”
There wasn’t much doubt among those who know Wade best that he wanted to coach in Hawaii; ironically, that’s in large part why he left in 2006.
“I felt that, in order to get one of the Hawaii jobs - top-five jobs both - that I’d need head-coaching experience,” says Wade. “When Notre Dame or USC hires a football coach, they want someone who’s been a head coach. In volleyball, Hawaii is one of the elites.”
That preparation served Wade well. He was the only finalist with head-coaching experience. And it means that his wife Tani, a local girl, and their Hawaii-born sons Makana, almost 5, and Kainoa, 3, can return home.
“We never sold our home in Kailua,” says Wade. “This is where we want to be.”
Asked if the transition to the men’s game would be difficult, Wade showed no uncertainty.
“There’s more serve and volley in the men’s game, but it comes down to this: If you first-ball serve-receive better than your opponent, you win.”
And as far as recruiting contacts, Wade shed some light on the volleyball club system.
“All the mega clubs in California and the Midwest have boys and girls. And the boys clubs were started by the people running the girls side, because sheer numbers make that their lifeblood. And I already know all those people.”
Charlie Wade is not just coming home, he’s bringing the master plan.
UH baseball coach Mike Trapasso received a one-year extension on his contract, which will take him to June 2010. Opinion has been divided on whether or not Coach Trap should continue to head the baseball program. While the team had a disappointing finish, there are many positive signs, including increased revenue, larger crowds, better APR and graduation rates, and the fact that some of the best players are freshmen. While any coach would prefer a multiyear deal, the message sent to both Trapasso and basketball coach Bob Nash is that while progress is evident, they’re going to have to win and get to the post-season if they are going to be long term.
Yes, the landscape has changed, but both coaches have enough talent returning to meet the challenge.
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