East Hawaii News

UH-Hilo women’s soccer coaches named West Region Staff of the Year

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It’s not just the student-athletes on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo women’s soccer team being honored in the postseason. The coaching staff also is garnering accolades.

After repeating as Pacific West Conference champions and earning back-to-back conference Coach of the Year honors, the Vulcans also add another title to their 2022 awards. United Soccer Coaches has named the UH-Hilo women’s soccer team coaching staff as West Region Staff of the Year.

From left, George Ichimaru, Keani Shirai, Jordan Zand, Chloe Nishioka, Landon Salvador and Gene Okamura. Photo by Steve Kinder/courtesy of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Athletics.

“We are very thankful as a staff to receive this recognition,” said Vulcans women’s soccer head coach Gene Okamura in a press release. “We know there are tons of awesome coaching staffs in our region that are very deserving of this award, so we are humbled to have received this award from our peers.”

In addition to Okamura, the Vulcan coaching staff includes assistants Jordan Zand and Landon Salvador along with Paul Regrutto, George Ichimaru, Chloe Nishioka and Keani Shirai.


In his seventh season, Okamura reached career win No. 50 with a 3-0 bout Oct. 22 against Biola.

“To our own staff, I am very happy that they are being recognized,” Okamura said in the press release. “Our assistants are very dedicated and committed to our student-athletes. None of our success this season or throughout the years would be possible without each and every one of our staff members.”

UH-Hilo went unbeaten in the regular season on the way to repeating as PacWest champs and hosting a NCAA Division II West Regional. The Vulcans finished at 13-1-3 with an exit in the second round of the West Regional.



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