Women's Volleyball

Tom Pestolesi to receive honor from University of Hawaii

Tom Pestolesi to receive honor from University of Hawaii

Long-time Irvine Valley men's and women's volleyball coach Tom Pestolesi will be honored by his alma mater this weekend.

Pestolesi, a former University of Hawai'i men's volleyball standout, will receive the Pae Makaukau Alumni recognition award at the 4th Annual A'o a Koa Scholarship Dinner which supports the Rainbow Warrior volleyball program.

The dinner will be held Sunday, Jan. 19 at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Past winners include Manny Relator (2013), Mauli'a LaBarre (2012), and Pono Ma'a (2011).

Pestolesi, a two-year letterman for the 'Bows from 1982-83, earned third-team AVCA All-America honors in 1983. He began his career at Long Beach State before transferring to play for then-head coach Dave Shoji at Hawai'i, where he was a two-time second-team all-California Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.

He still ranks fourth all-time at UH with a 1.42 career blocking average.

After graduating from UH in 1983 with a degree in physical education, Pestolesi taught at Estancia High, where he also coached the boys' and girls' volleyball teams. Among his former players included Adam Lockwood and Brandi Brooks, both of whom went on to star for Hawai'i. 

He moved on to teach at Newport Harbor High in 1993, where he coached Olympian Misty May as well as former Rainbow Wahine setter Jennifer Carey and USC All-American April Ross.

Pestolesi helped to start the Irvine Valley College men's team in 1991 and led them to state titles in 1993, 2007, 2008 and '11. He continues to coach the IVC women's program while also overseeing the men's program as its Director of Volleyball. As head coach of the IVC women, Pestolesi has led the Lasers to five state championship appearances with a runner-up in 2003 and third place finishes in 2009 and '13.

The Lasers won the most matches in program history in 2013 with a record of 24-2. Pestolesi was recently named the Two-Year Regional Coach of the Year.

An avid beach volleyball player, Pestolesi helped start the sport of women's sand volleyball for the California Community Colleges and led IVC to the 2013 sand championship title.

He is the currently the Hall of Fame Director for the California Community College Men's Coaches Association and is the department chair for the Irvine Valley College's Kinesiology department.

Pestolesi is married to the former Diane Sebastian, who was a three-time All-American for the Rainbow Wahine volleyball program and they have three children; Tommy, Kari, and Danny.

Tommy was a star player at Long Beach State and played overseas and Kari was an All-American player at UC Irvine and has followed in her father's coaching footsteps. She is currently an assistant for the women's team at Concordia University.

The A'o a Koa Scholarship dinner is in its fourth year and is a fun-filled opportunity to meet head coach Charlie Wade and his staff and the current Rainbow Warrior volleyball team. The coaching staff includes Jeff Hall, who returns for his fourth year and third as associate coach and new assistant coach Milan Zarkovic. Several former Warriors will also be on hand to socialize and sign autographs.

Proceeds will be used to help fund the summer school scholarships, recruiting, video equipment and additional/camp staff for Rainbow Warrior Volleyball. The event also features a silent auction with sports memorabilia, travel, golf, hotel and event ticket packages, dinner certificates and other great items.

A portion of the cost is tax deductible under IRS Chapter 501 C (3).

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