Moichi Taoka

Moichi Taoka is Ryonan's coach and a contemporary of Kainan's Riki Takato, who is a year younger than him. Both of them have known each other since high school, when Taoka was known as “Kanagawa's Taoka�. Taoka compares himself to Sendoh, which his players find hard to believe. Both men are still friends, but are also rivals. Taoka trained his team hard enough that when he asked them to close their eyes and think about it, they became agitated. If he had had his way, his dream team would have consisted of Sendoh, Uozomi, Mitsui, Miyagi, and Rukawa, with the latter three playing the same positions they now play for Shohoku. He personally recruited them, but each turned him down for various reasons (Mitsui and Miyagi because of Anzai, and Rukawa because Shohoku is closer to his home). Still, Taoka is happy with his current team and believes that out of all the teams he has coached, it has trained the hardest. He even believes that this team can beat his dream team. Taoka is a good coach, but has made mistakes in judging his players and the opposition. He still has an eye for talent though, as he recognized Uozomi's potential and gave him encouragement when Uozomi's skills were weak and he was thinking of quitting. Taoka also realized that when Sendoh and Fukuda joined the team that they would become key players. However, he thought that he could encourage Fukuda by criticizing him while at the same time praising Sendoh. Fukuda's personality turned out to be more sensitive, and after a year of criticism, he snapped, attacking Taoka during a practice match. This resulted in his suspension from the team, which is why Fukuda did not play during the practice match with Shohoku. Having learned from his mistake, Taoka uses Fukuda to great effect during the match with Kainan. During the league round match with Shohoku, Taoka underestimates how much Sakuragi's abilities have grown in the short time since Shohoku first played Ryonan. He also underestimates Kogure's abilities. Both of these underestimations cost Ryonan a shot at the national championships, and Taoka acknowledges them after the game. (Source: Wikipedia)