Takatsuka Tapped As HPU Womens Hoops Interim Head Coach
By Jack Danilewicz
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Part of coaching is planning for the unexpected. Even so, taking over the Hawaii Pacific University women’s basketball program as its interim head coach still took a few minutes to get used to for Reid Takatsuka.
“Jeff was keeping me updated, so I wasn’t completely caught off guard,” said Takatsuka, who was promoted from Jeff Harada’s staff, where he served as the top assistant for the last three seasons. “I’m extremely happy for him.
It’s an unbelievable opportunity for him.”
Harada recently accepted an assistant coaching position at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
For his part, Takatsuka is eager to return to being a head coach. Prior to joining Harada’s staff, he had enjoyed a highly successful seven-year run as the head women’s basketball coach at his alma mater, Hawaii Baptist.
“I’m extremely excited the whole opportunity is a huge blessing,” said Takatsuka, who grew up in Kaneohe and now lives in Kailua. “Personally, I couldn’t have scripted any of it. It’s a dream job. I’m extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Jeff.”
During his three years as an assistant, the Sea Warriors went 50-29. In 2010, Takatsuka was on the staff that guided HPU to its first conference championship and NCAA regional berth. Takatsuka has developed a relationship with this veteran team that returns six seniors, so the transition issues that normally go with a coaching change don’t figure to come into play for the Sea Warriors.
“(Hiring within) is an advantage for us. Jeff had his style, and I have my style, but things won’t change that much (schematically),” he said.
Added Hawaii Pacific athletic director Darren Vorderbruegge, who is also the Sea Warriors head men’s basketball coach:
“Reid has been an important part of the success the ladies have achieved during the last three years; his continuance with the program will provide important stability as HPU basketball continues to compete for the PacWest Championship.”
HPU, which finished 124 in the Pacific West Conference last season and 18-7 overall, will have a veteran team on the floor come November.
“What I’m most excited about is that we have a great groups of kids back and some great kids coming in,” said Takatsuka, whose staff currently includes assistant Roger Kiyomura and graduate assistants Jessica Williams and Kim Hom. “We’re moving in a direction where we can hopefully develop some tradition. First and foremost, we want to win our (Pacific West) conference and get back to the Western Regionals (of the NCAA Division II Tournament). We’re going to just continue trying to be better every year.”
Takatsuka was a threesport athlete at HBA, lettering in basketball, volleyball and golf. He graduated from California Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies. He currently works as a full-time sales manager as well as a part-time teacher with the state Department of Education.
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