A Bud Of Hope For Wahine Soccer
Wednesday - September 07, 2011
Coach Bud was expressing some frustration which is a real rarity, I must tell you. “We want to see results right away, so its frustrating right now,” Coach Michele “Bud” Nagamine tells me after her UH Wahine soccer team lost its first couple of matches this season.
But she will never be frustrated for very long.
“We can play at a higher level,” she says, immediately turning a positive note. “I never have loved the game as much as I love it now!”
For anyone who has been around Nagamine since her high school and collegiate playing days to her five state championships as a coach at Kamehameha, through her building of the powerful Leahi soccer club, to her days as PacWest Coach of the Year at Hawaii Pacific University and now to the University of Hawaii, Nagamine is always (underline always) positive, enthusiastic and excited.
“You have to be passionate and serious,” she says. “The fans are passionate, so we should be, too.”
And even though she didn’t win coming right out of the blocks as Hawaii’s new head coach this season (and only the second in the program’s history), she knows her team’s time will come. “We may not get a lot of wins early, but we will definitely be prepared for (WAC) conference play. I want us to play the best so we see how far we have to come. Right now, we’re inexperienced, but I’m seeing some good things, too.”
For someone who lives life at 100 mph, the promotion to the UH head coaching job really changed things for Nagamine. For years, she had run Leahi and the Kamehameha program, and then HPU, all while being the director of sports marketing for Outrigger. “I competed against myself for better sales,” she says. “I always wanted to get better. (But) I couldn’t maintain that kind of pace. It was weighing on me almost to the point of exhaustion.”
When UH athletic director Jim Donovan called her in December to offer her the Wahine job, the offer came with one stipulation: She would have to step aside from all the other jobs and work full time for Wahine soccer. “Now, I look at what I do every day and it’s selling our boosters, and selling our kids, and setting up schedules, and coaching, and much more. Luckily, I have such a great staff,” she says.
Her program got off to a terrific start when more than 2,800 fans turned out at Waipio Soccer Complex in late August to watch her first game as head coach.
“We led the nation in attendance, so that’s very exciting,” she says. “We have a lot of friends we’ve built up over the years, so it was nice to see them all out there.”
Coach Bud the nickname bestowed on her by her athletes many years ago hopes that the fans keep coming out. “People have a lot of pride in UH. We want to make them proud of our team,” she says.
She cautions that it will take time to see results in the win column, but then immediately turns bubbly again. “I’m having a blast! I’m extremely happy!”
E-mail this story | Print this page | Comments (0) | Archive | RSS Comments (0) |
Most Recent Comment(s):