Nick Rolovich’s professional dream became reality Tuesday morning.
The former quarterback and coordinator opened his first spring training camp as head coach of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior football team.
“It was pretty special for me to walk through that gate, back on the grass. Just so many good memories, so many good teammates, even great memories of practice,” Rolovich said. “I like the energy of the boys. I thought (they) had fun, good energy as far as playing through the whistle. I’m happy to be out here. I’m sick of that office.”
The players arrived with the sun, gathering on Cooke Field for the first of 15 workouts over the next 32 days.
“This should be the greatest time of their day. I think they should go to sleep (thinking), ‘Can’t wait. I hope it rains on me in Manoa when I’m practicing tomorrow,’ because that should be the greatest two hours of their day. When they start thinking like that, we’ll be okay,” Rolovich said.
The Warriors return with 19 starters and 52 letter-winners from a year ago, along with four new coaches and three coordinators.
“There’s no favorites at any position. That’s what’s cool about a new staff. With Chris (Naeole, offensive line) and Abe (Elimimian, secondary) having some history with their guys, they know a little bit more, but for us, we’re a clean slate with judgment and how guys act and the history of character or attendance,” Rolovich said.
Numerous position battles will be discussed in the coming weeks, including starting quarterback, but on day one, it was all about digging their cleats into the turf and setting the tone for the rest of the season.
“They’re going to need each other. They’re going to need to learn from each other. It’s a little bit hard to tell right now, but that’s what it is. I don’t care. I don’t care who plays. The best guy’s gotta play, and I told them, don’t worry about what he throws, or what he throws. Worry about what you can control, and learn from the other guys, and what they do and help each other out,” Rolovich said. “If they get nervous about somebody making a good throw that wasn’t them, then they’re not the right guy. Then they’re too nervous to get out there and play.”
The ‘Bows will next hit the field Thursday. Practices are open to the public.Spring Practice Dates*
- Thursday, March 31, 7 a.m.
- Saturday, April 2, 9 a.m.
- Tuesday, April 5, 7 a.m.
- Thursday, April 7, 7 a.m.
- Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m.
- Tuesday, April 12, 7 a.m.
- Thursday, April 14, 7 a.m.
- Saturday, April 16, 9 a.m.
- Tuesday, April 19, 7 a.m.
- Thursday, April 21, 7 a.m.
- Saturday, April 23, 11 a.m. – Junior Day
- Tuesday, April 26, 7 a.m.
- Thursday, April 28, 7 a.m.
- Friday, April 29, Spring Game, TBD
*Some sessions will be held at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex.