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Hawaii football hires Timmy Chang as head coach

The former Hawaii Warrior quarterback returns to Manoa to revive a program in turmoil

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 15 Hawaii at Army Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Exhale, Rainbow Warriors fans. The drama is (mostly) over.

Hawaii football has hired Colorado State Wide Receivers Coach Timmy Chang to take over the head coaching position at Manoa.

Chang, a prep All-American standout at Saint Louis School (Oahu), starred for the Hawaii Warriors from 2000-2004, where he set the all-time record for passing yards, breaking Ty Detmer’s (Brigham Young) record at the time.

Chang’s coaching career started in 2012 as a graduate assistant at SMU. He would then receive his first full-time coaching job at Jackson State (Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks Coach, 2014-2015), then moved on to Emory & Henry (Offensive Coordinator, 2016), before breaking through at the FBS level with Nevada in 2017. Chang served as Inside Wide Receivers Coach, Tight Ends Coach, and Wide Receivers Coach while in Reno. Chang initially joined Jay Norvell’s staff at Colorado State this past December before accepting the Hawaii job.

How did we get here? Now former Hawaii head football coach Todd Graham publicly resigned from his position on Friday January 14th. Speculation on who might replace Graham kicked off that weekend and reached a high point early the following week when former Hawaii head coach June Jones publicly declared his candidacy for the vacant job.

From there, it was clear Jones was a fan favorite on social media to replace Graham. By Wednesday, Jones interviewed for the job. On Friday, Jones again met with the Hawaii athletic department, a meeting that reportedly didn’t end well, leading to Jones pulling his name out for the job and publicly noting his discontent with the situation.

This garnered enough media attention for Hawaii’s athletic department spokesman to respond. From the debacle of a state senate meeting to this fiasco with Jones, December and January have provided endless drama for UH football.

Finally, the drama comes to an end.

Let’s get this out of the way: it’s not every day a Wide Receivers Coach from a Group of 5 program (Nevada/Colorado State) earns a head coaching job at the FBS level. Chang is inexperienced compared to most FBS head coaches. The task ahead is daunting, the roster was ravaged by the transfer portal.

This much I can say: Chang knows offense. He played in the run-and-shoot in college, coached it in college, and was on staff for Nevada’s vaunted Air Raid featuring Carson Strong, Romeo Doubs, Cole Turner, etc. He’s been a part of teams that put up points and dazzled viewers.

A rebuilding phase feels like a near guarantee. Many will count out the young Rainbow Warriors, players and head coach. Patience is required, Chang will be learning on the job, but in time it’s more than believable that Timmy Chang can reignite the pass-happy offense that made many fall in love with Hawaii football back in the 2000-2011 era.

Buckle up, Rainbow Warriors fans. The road ahead might be bumpy, but Chang deserves a chance and faith.

Timmy Would Throw.