Ahuna won't say why she left HPU
By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Brandon Masuoka
Reydan "Tita" Ahuna, who coached the Hawai'i Pacific University women's volleyball team to two national championships, yesterday declined to give reasons for her resignation, saying it's "not my style" to grumble publicly.
Ahuna is the volleyball program's winningest coach at 206-58.
"There's many, many reasons," said Ahuna, when asked why she resigned. "I don't want to come off as a crybaby and blast off my reasons."
Ahuna — who announced her resignation to the school Tuesday — had just completed her 10th season at HPU, winning the Pacific West Conference title, and posting her second consecutive 20-win season.
Ahuna is the second flagship head coach to leave the school since April. She follows the departure of men's basketball coach Kelly Wells, who resigned to become the head coach at Pikeville College, an NAIA school in Pikeville, Ky.
Hawai'i Pacific has also had four athletic directors during Ahuna's tenure, each with different philosophies, procedures, rules and regulations, she said.
"It's tough being a new administrator coming in," Ahuna said. "Some of my girls have had three different administrators in the three years they were at HPU. It's tough for them. ... my girls are lost in the shuffle."
Ahuna said she planned to take some time off and visit friends she hasn't seen in 10 years because she had been working.
She also will be looking for a new job, she said.
"I have a masters degree in education," Ahuna said. "I left as a teacher, and I can always find a job and go back."
Yesterday, HPU issued a statement saying Ahuna resigned, citing "personal reasons." Ahuna said those reasons did not include illness.
"I didn't want anybody to think I left because my mother was sick, my brother is sick, or I'm sick," she said.
Ahuna coached the Sea Warriors to NCAA II championships in 1998 and 2000, and Pacific West Conference titles in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2005.
In 2000, Ahuna guided the No. 1 ranked Lady Sea Warriors to the first perfect season (28-0) in NCAA II history. She was named NCAA Division II Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
This past season, she earned her 200th career victory while guiding HPU to the semifinals of the NCAA West Regional Tournament.
Ahuna said she leaves the program in good standing.
"I'm leaving them with an All-American (Barbara Martin) ... freshmen who had playing time," she said. "There is no way I would leave my team without a good foundation."
Along with her duties as head coach, Ahuna also served as HPU's senior women's administrator the past four years.
"Tita was a very valuable and appreciated member of HPU who always represented herself and the university in a positive manner," HPU athletic director Jill Ward said in a prepared statement. "She will be missed and we wish her continued success in her future endeavors."
Ahuna is believed to be the only person in the sport's history to win high school state volleyball championships and collegiate titles as both a player and coach, according to the HPU Web site.
Ahuna led Kamehameha Schools to state titles as a player in 1982 and 1983, and as a coach for the boys varsity in 1991 and 1993.
In 1987, she helped the University of Hawai'i women's volleyball team win the national championship and earned All-America honors. She was also named All-American in 1985 and 1986.
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