Timmy Chang is coming home.
The former University of Hawaii quarterback is returning to his alma mater to become the football program’s next head coach after Todd Graham’s abrupt resignation on Jan. 14 and June Jones’ rejection of the school’s offer on Friday afternoon.
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Chang, who was born and raised on Oahu, graduated from Saint Louis School in 2000. From there, he started 50 games for the Warriors from 2000 to 2004, setting NCAA records in passing yards (17,072), total offense (16,910), pass completions (1,388) and pass attempts (2,436). However, of the listed records, the career attempts record is the only one that stands to this day.
Chang was not selected in the 2005 NFL Draft and signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent. He also signed with the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles but never saw action in a regular season NFL game. He also had professional stops as a player with the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe, as well as the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
It wasn’t until 2012 that Chang began his coaching career, where he was a graduate assistant under Jones at SMU. Since then, he’s been an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Jackson State and an offensive coordinator at Emory & Henry. He joined Nevada’s staff in 2017, coaching wide receivers and tight ends before following Jay Norvell to Colorado State following the 2021 season. The 2022 season will be his first as a coach at his alma mater.
After a search that lasted a little over one week, Chang emerged as UH’s choice over a candidate pool that featured the likes of Brian Smith, Arizona defensive coordinator Johnny Nansen, UCLA associate coach Brian Norwood and BYU associate head coach Ed Lamb. Jones was originally offered the job on Friday but turned it down. One of the many contingencies inside the contract was to have Chang as the head coach in waiting. Although Junes still expressed interest in the job, the university decided his handling of the interviewing process was untenable, as evidenced by an impromptu Zoom session led by UH spokesperson Dan Meisenzahl on Saturday morning.
The Rainbow Warriors went 6-7 in 2021 following the cancellation of the Hawaii Bowl, which was sandwiched by a mass exodus of players before and after the scheduled Dec. 24 date prior to the ‘Bows withdrawing from the game due to COVID-19 issues. Starting quarterback and Saint Louis alum Chevan Cordeiro entered the NCAA transfer portal and quickly found a new home (San Jose State), as did leading tackler and Mililani alum Darius Muasau (UCLA). Other notable former Hawaii players in the transfer portal are safety Khoury Bethley, receiver Nick Mardner (Cincinnati), defensive tackle Jonah Laulu (Oklahoma), cornerback Cameron Lockridge (Fresno State) and running back Dae Dae Hunter (Liberty), the team’s leading rusher in 2021.
The departures ultimately led members of the team to publicly voice their concerns about Graham and his treatment of members of the program, leading to his fateful resignation last week.
With signing day set for Feb. 2, one of Chang’s first tasks will be restocking a roster that currently looks barren compared to the talent the program could have retained.
The 2022 college football season kicks off with a contest between Vanderbilt and Hawaii at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex on Aug. 27.