Norm Chow is out as head coach at the University of Hawai’i after three-and-a-half seasons. Athletic director David Matlin made the announcement Sunday, one day after the Rainbow Warriors got beat 58-7 by Air Force. Hawai’i is now 2-7 on the season and 0-5 in Mountain West Conference play. Offensive line coach Chris Naeole will finish the season as interim head coach.
The 69-year-old-Chow is 10-36 at Hawai’i, which is his first head coaching job at a major division one program. He spent 47 years as an assistant coach in college football and the NFL. Chow became a full time assistant at BYU in 1975 and over 24 years in Provo he had different roles coaching wide receivers, running backs and quarterbacks, and was assistant head coach from 1996 through 1999. Chow left BYU when he was not named the head coach to replace the retiring LaVell Edwards and went to North Carolina State to become offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for one season, tutoring then-freshman quarterback Philip Rivers. Chow was offensive coordinator under Pete Carroll at USC from 2001 through 2004, which included the Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush eras of USC’s offense. He left for the Tennessee Titans of the NFL after he believed that his two assistant coaching protégés, Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian were being given some of his responsibilities.
He spent three seasons in the NFL as the Titans’ offensive coordinator before returning to college football as the offensive coordinator on Rick Neuheisel’s staff at UCLA. After having problems implementing Neuheisel’s desired move to the pistol offense, Chow left in 2011 to be the offensive coordinator at Utah, before finally getting his first head coaching job at Hawai’i, replacing Greg McMackin who had lasted three years as head coach.
In the statement released by the school Sunday afternoon, Matlin said, “Ultimately we feel this decision is in the best interest of the university and athletics department and we need to move in a different direction. Coach Chow should be commended for helping our football program achieve all-time highs in APR scores and graduation rates.”