Michele “Bud” Nagamine was hired in December 2010 as head women’s soccer coach at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Just the second coach in the history of the program, which dates back to 1994, Nagamine has been the driving force in UH’s resurgence with her energy, passion and knowledge of the game.
2016 was Nagamine’s most successful season to date at Hawai‘i. She led UH to a 9-6-2 overall record, boasting the program’s first winning season since 2008 and the most wins since 2007. UH held a nine-match home unbeaten streak when it started the season 7-0-2 at home. The Rainbow Wahine broke the program record for most consecutive games with a goal, scoring in the first 13 games of the season. UH also broke into the NSCAA West Region rankings for the first time in program history, spending six weeks in the poll and peaking at No. 4. Hawai‘i ended its 10-game Big West Conference skid with a 2-0 victory over UC Riverside on Oct. 6, and finished tied for sixth in the Big West standings after being picked to finish last in the nine-team league. Hawai‘i’s 7.0 win improvement from 2015 to 2016 was the fifth best in NCAA Division I. UH shared the Outrigger Soccer Classic Series #1 tournament championship with Oregon before claiming the Outrigger Soccer Classic Series #2 and Outrigger Soccer Classic Series #3 titles outright.
Two Hawai‘i players earned NSCAA all-West Region recognition, as Addie Steiner earned a spot on the first-team while Raisa Strom-Okimoto was selected to the third team. Steiner and Strom-Okimoto were each first-team all-Big West selections while Storm Kenui was voted to the second team, Tia Furuta was selected to the Big West all-freshman team and Monk Berger and T.J. Reyno were all-Big West Honorable Mentions.
The Rainbow Wahine also had one of their best years in the classroom in 2016. Strom-Okimoto became the program’s first CoSIDA Academic All-District First-Team selection since Joelle Sugai in 2004, and 11 UH players earned a spot on the Big West Conference all-academic team, a program record and the most of any Big West women’s soccer team in 2016.
Nagamine exceeded preseason expectations in each of her first three seasons at the helm of the Rainbow Wahine, not surprising considering her track record of building winners.
Wins did not come easy in her first season. UH faced a brutally tough preseason schedule—four of its first five opponents eventually advanced to the NCAA Tournament. However, that difficult schedule more than prepared the team for its final season in the Western Athletic Conference as a team that was predicted to finish seventh in the preseason poll was remarkably in championship contention until the final weekend of the regular season. UH ultimately finished third in the final standings and qualified for the WAC tournament for the first time in three years.
The resurgence continued in 2012. UH captured a pair of preseason tournaments and tied a school record with a seven-match unbeaten streak. Nagamine also successfully guided the team during its transition in the ultra-competitive Big West Conference. After being picked last in the preseason poll, the Rainbow Wahine won three matches and claimed sixth in the 10-team league. By season’s end, the team posted its highest win total (8) since 2008.
The 2013 season brought even more success: an end to four straight losing seasons; the team’s first winning road record in 10 years; back-to-back wins over Pac-12 squads; another step up the conference standings; and six all-conference and one all-region nod for her players.
Five UH players were recognized for their efforts following the 2014 campaign, including four who earned a spot on the All-Big West Second Team, and one who was selected to the Big West All-Freshman team.
Prior to UH, Nagamine, 47, had already made her mark on the club, high school and collegiate levels with a reputation as a program builder. She has been named a conference Coach of the Year, won numerous state titles in high school and guided one of the elite club programs in the West region.
Nagamine spent three years as the head women’s soccer coach at Hawai‘i Pacific University, turning a losing program into a conference contender. She inherited a team that won just three games in 2007 and by her second year lifted the team to a 10-8-1 record and a third-place finish in the PacWest Conference. For her efforts, she was named the 2009 PacWest Coach of the Year. In her third season, the Sea Warriors finished with their second straight winning record and were the only team in the nation during the regular season to defeat BYU-Hawai‘i, which was ranked No. 1 in the West region.
While at the helm of the Lady Sea Warriors soccer program, she recruited a conference Goalkeeper of the Year, a conference Newcomer of the Year and six all-conference players. She also oversaw academic improvement as the team increased its GPA to above 3.0.
Prior to joining HPU, Nagamine established herself as one of the most successful coaches in all of Hawai‘i high school athletics. As head coach of the Kamehameha Schools’ girl’s soccer team since 1991, she won five Hawai‘i state championships and six Interscholastic League of Honolulu titles. Nagamine was named ILH Coach of the Year a league-record seven times and was a five-time selection as state Coach of the Year.
Nagamine also received national recognition for her work at Kamehameha. She has been named state Coach of the Year five times and Far West Region Coach of the Year two times by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, the governing body of United States soccer coaches. In 2007, she was named the NSCAA National High School Coach of the Year after guiding the Warriors to an undefeated (11-0-2) season and a second consecutive Hawai‘i state championship.
Nagamine has also displayed a golden touch on the club level. As the technical director for Le‘ahi Soccer Club since 2002, she has overseen the direction and operation of Hawai‘i’s largest and most competitive girl’s soccer club. During that span, she helped grow the club from four teams to 26 teams.
Nagamine also boasts extensive business experience. She was the owner of her own marketing group as well as a soccer retail store. From 2001-11, she was the director of sports marketing and sales for Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, where she oversaw the operations of all sports bookings within all Outrigger properties.
The Honolulu native is a 1990 graduate of Santa Clara where she captained the 1990 Bronco team that reached the NCAA semifinals.