The University of Hawai’i Athletics Department announced its 35th class of the UH Sports Circle of Honor which includes legendary women’s volleyball coach Dave Shoji, the 1992 Rainbow Warrior football team, recently retired UH administrator Marilyn Moniz-Kaho’ohanohano, longtime UH booster Don and Marion Murphy, and the late U.S. CongressmanMark Takai.
The Class of 2017 will be officially enshrined during Homecoming weekend – at the Oct. 14 football game vs. San Jose State and at the inaugural Circle of Honor Celebration, Oct. 15 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Shoji is the 23rd head coach to be inducted while the 1992 Rainbow Warriors are the eighth team and third football squad to be enshrined. Moniz-Kaho’ohanohano, a former Rainbow Wahine volleyball player, is the 11th women’s volleyball player and seventh administrator. Takai, a former Rainbow swimmer, is the first swimmer. The Murphys, who own Murphy’s Bar & Grill, is among a handful of boosters in the Circle.
The Circle of Honor started in 1982 to recognize individuals and teams who have contributed to the growth, history and tradition of UH Athletics. The total number of inductees in the Circle of Honor is 116 individuals and 11 teams, including this year’s honorees. Plaques honoring the individuals and teams are anchored on the inner walls surrounding the main concourse of the Stan Sheriff Center.
Brief biographies of the Circle of Honor Class of 2017 inductees are listed below:
Dave Shoji, the second coach in Rainbow Wahine volleyball history, retired in 2017 after 42 seasons, finishing with a 1,202-204-1 record, ranking him second in all-time victories in NCAA Division I women’s collegiate volleyball. His teams won four national championships (1979, 1982, 1983, 1987), finished second four times, and won 14 conference championships, with 38 20-plus win seasons, 18 of those with 30 or more victories. Shoji never had a losing season. He was a two-time national coach of the year, nine-time region coach of the year, 14-time conference coach of the year, the coach of the NCAA 25th Anniversary team and an USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach. He coached 86 All-Americans, eight national players of the year, 25 conference players of the year and five future Olympians. Hawai’i led the country in attendance from 1995-2012.
The 1992 Rainbow football team, coached by Bob Wagner, capped an 11-2 season with a 27-17 victory over Illinois in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, the program’s first bowl win coming in its first mainland bowl appearance. Three-time All-American Jason Elam, one of three future NFL players on the roster, kicked field goals of 47 and 37 yards against the Illini. Quarterback Michael Carter was named the game’s Outstanding Offensive Player after passing for 115 yards and rushing for 105, and Junior Tagoai was named the Outstanding Defensive Player. Travis Sims set three UH bowl records — most yards (113), most carries (29) and most touchdowns (2) — and Elam one — longest field goal (45 yards). Hawai’i, ranked No. 20 in the final AP poll, went 6-2 in the Western Athletic Conference to share its first conference title with Fresno State. DL Ma’a Tanuvasa, OL Doug Vaioleti, PK Elam and RB Sims were all named first-team All-WAC
Marilyn Moniz-Kaho’ohanohano became the Athletics Department’s third associate athletics director/senior woman administrator when hired by the late Stan Sheriff in 1989. During her 28-year tenure, five women’s sports were added, the last being beach volleyball in 2011. The former Wahine volleyball player (1972-75) was a part of Dave Shoji’s first team in 1975 that finished second at the AIAW Championships. From 2000 until her retirement in 2017, Moniz-Kaho’ohanohano oversaw the department’s NCAA Compliance, Student-Athlete Services and the NCAA Academic Performance Program. She was a national voice for Rainbow Wahine Athletics as a member of national and conference committees.
Restaurateur Don Murphy has served the Hawai’i Athletics Department as both chair and board member of ‘Ahahui Koa Anuenue and Na Koa Football Club. He and wife Marion have hosted numerous fundraisers, including the annual Pigskin Pigout, which has raised millions of dollars for Na Koa since 1996.
Mark Takai was an advocate for the Athletics Department during and after his swimming career at the University. As a student-athlete (1986-88) he was a Western Athletic Conference champion, a member of the Athletic Advisory Board, and served as both ASUH president and editor-in-chief of Ka Leo, the campus student newspaper. He obtained a B.A. in political science and Master of Public Health before serving in the Hawai’i House of Representatives (1994-2014) and the U.S. House of Representatives (2014-16). At the state legislature, Takai served as Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education (1995–2002) and as Chairman in 2003–2004; and was the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans, Military, & International Affairs, He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Army National Guard, taking part in Operation Iraqi Freedom (2009) Among his numerous awards and decorations, Takai received the Meritorious Service Medal from the U.S. Army (2009, the Distinguished Service Medal from the National Guard Association of the United States (2011) and the Hawai’i Distinguished Service Order (2012), Takai, who died in 2016, posthumously received the UH Alumni Association President’s Award in 2017.