Norm Chow fired as head coach of University of ‎Hawaii‬ football team

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Norm Chow has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football team.

Chris Naeole has been named interim head coach for rest of season. Naeole is an NFL veteran and Kahuku High School graduate that was the offensive line coach at the University of Hawaii. He has been with the Rainbow Warriors for three seasons.

The University of Hawaii has already posted the position online with a closing date of this Friday, November 6, 2015.

“Under administrative direction, Coach is responsible for planning, administering, and evaluating the overall operation of the NCAA Division I Men’s Football Program to include, but not limited to, academic achievement of student-athletes, on field coaching, recruitment of qualified prospects, supervision of assistant coaches and other staff assigned to the program, compliance, program management (eligibility, scheduling, travel, budget, equipment), and student-athlete welfare. The Head Coach assumes full responsibility for ensuring that team performance is competitive in the affiliated conference with the goal of achieving post-season competition annually. Additionally, the incumbent must maintain collaborative working relationships with administrators and coaches in the department, other college offices, and appropriate relationships with members of the media, donors, and other individuals interested in the sports program. Reports to the Athletics Director or designee.”

The announcement was made after the Rainbows suffered a 58-7 loss to Air Force last night at Aloha Stadium. The 51-point loss was the largest defeat in a conference home game.

The loss marked the sixth straight for the Rainbow Warriors (2-7) dropping their record in Mountain West play to 0-5, and officially knocking UH out of bowl contention.

“I’d like to thank Coach Chow for his dedication to our football program for the past four years,” 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.” – University of Hawaii Athletics Director David Matlin

Chow was 10-36 in his four seasons with the Rainbow Warriors. He took over the program in 2012.

Chow had a base salary of $550,000. He had a five-year deal with the school through Dec. 31, 2016.

UH officials were recently under fire from lawmakers for firing former men’s head basketball coach Gib Arnold. The university is spending more than $1 million to settle with Arnold.

In addition to the $700,000 settlement, Arnold received his remaining salary of $148,000 and $250,000 will go toward the university’s legal fees, totaling $1,098,000.

The university has agreed to pay Chow his total remaining base salary for the rest of the year, and instead of $500,000 for year 5, Chow will receive $200,000.

In his contract with the university’s board of regents, under “Termination of Agreement by University” and subsection “Termination Without Cause,” it reads in part that:

This Agreement may be terminated by the University at any time without cause upon ninety (90) days written notice to Coach. In such event, University will pay Coach as liquidated damages, a lump sum amount equal to (1) Coach’s total remaining base salary through year four of this Agreement, and (2) $200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand dollars) for year five of this Agreement. University shall pay this amount to Coach within (30) days of termination.

To see the entirety of Chow’s contract, click here.

With Norm Chow relieved of his duties, the search for a permanent replacement began immediately.

Applications are currently being accepted starting Sunday and ending Friday, Nov. 6.

A target hiring is expected to made in mid-December at the latest, according to sources KHON2 spoke with.

Nobody has publicly claimed interest in the vacant job, however, sources close to each camp have indicated that the three most likely candidates who will apply for the job, including:

  • former UH head coach June Jones
  • former associate head coach Rich Miano
  • one-time Hawaii offensive coordinator and current Nevada offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich

Up next for the Rainbow Warriors is a game at the University of Las Vegas on Saturday, Nov. 7.

The will hold their first practice under Naeole on Tuesday morning.

Chow is expected to meet with the team Monday.Stay with KHON2 News and Sports for more on this developing story.

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