D2 NEWS: Hawaii Pacific opens

I teased this one on TWITTER earlier today. It’s now official – D2 Hawaii Pacific has opened as Darren Vorderbruegge has announced his resignation. Here’s the official release from the university:

After 17 years at Hawaii Pacific University and 15 seasons at the helm of the men’s basketball program Head Coach Darren Vorderbruegge has decided to step away from the game and the University.

“I am leaving Hawaii Pacific University and basketball for an exciting new journey.  I have so many good memories of HPU and the staff and athletes I have been blessed to work with,” said coach Vorderbruegge. “I am certain that under the leadership of Dr. Snell, the athletic department is poised to thrive.  And for Sharks Basketball – I am confident that Associate Head Coach Jesse Nakanishi can lead the team to success.”

Coach V’s career was highlighted by 180 wins, the seventh-most-winningest collegiate men’s coach in Hawaii. He was named the 2017 Clarence Gaines National Coach of the Year to go along with a PacWest regular season and tournament championship.

Beyond the court, Vorderbruegge served as HPU’s Athletic Director from 2006-2014. Under his watch, the school captured back-to-back PacWest Commissioner’s Cups, the softball team brought home a National Championship, and the athletic department was awarded the Pacwest Community Engagement Award. 

Coach V always had an emphasis on giving back to the community. In recent years, the team has volunteered to conduct athletic camps for youth at Palama Settlement near downtown Honolulu. Each year members of the Sharks basketball attend special events to promote literacy at elementary schools across the island. The team has been involved in beach clean-up activities and assisting with HPU Commencement. They have volunteered to work at the Honolulu Children’s Museum and also visited military veterans hospitalized at Tripler Medical Facility in Honolulu and The Veterans Hospital of San Diego.  The team has participated in community activities such as The Men’s March Against Domestic Violence and demonstrations to bring awareness to the dangers of underage vaping. In the 2022-23 season, they were recognized as finalists for the NCAA DII Award of Excellence.

Associate Head Coach Jesse Nakanishi will lead the team while the school sets its sights on a search for a new head coach.

Tagged with: