Shoji Hutzler leaves Blue Wave volleyball

P.K. Yonge head coach Cobey Shoji Hutzler talks to her team during a timeout against St. Francis on Nov. 8.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Friday, January 6, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 12:17 a.m.

For the third time in two years, P.K. Yonge is looking for a new volleyball coach.

Cobey Shoji Hutzler, the Class 3A Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of the Year who led the Blue Wave to a 25-5 record and a regional final in just one season, is leaving Gainesville to join her husband, Coleman Hutzler, who was recently hired to join Bob Davie's football staff at the University of New Mexico. A defensive coach for three seasons at Stanford, he had served as a football intern for special teams at Florida.

“Obviously, it is bittersweet to leave such a great group of players, and I wished I could have stayed and been their coach for many years,” said Shoji Hutzler. “But as a wife of a football coach, you kind of realize that this can happen because football coaches move a lot. I am so grateful to coach such a special group of girls and for such a great school and administration, even if for one season. It was an honor to coach the Blue Wave, and I look forward to following them over the next few years.”

Shoji Hutzler took over the Blue Wave program after former Gator great and P.K. Yonge alum Marcie Hampton, who had been hired after Perry McDonald resigned following the 2010 season, stepped down without coaching a game to pursue other job opportunities.

The Blue Wave, who had one senior starter, went unbeaten in District 3-3A, capturing the district tournament title over St. Francis in straight sets. They also beat the Wolves in the regional semifinals before falling at Tallahassee Maclay in the regional final.

“Obviously I'm pleased that Coleman got a job at the University of New Mexico,” said P.K. Yonge athletic director John Clifford. “That's a good career move for him. Cobey did a great job for us with such a young team. We will probably put in a national search to find our next coach.

“We have a great tradition here at P.K. Yonge in volleyball, and have had some great coaches in the past and look to find another one. We have a very young and talented team, and I believe will have many coaches interested in coaching here.”

Shoji Hutzler is the daughter of the University of Hawaii volleyball coach Dave Shoji, who has compiled more than 1,000 victories in 37 seasons with the Rainbow Wahine. Shoji is also inducted in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

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