Optimism was in the air as the University of Hawaii football team wrapped up its 15th and final spring practice on Saturday morning.

Saturday marked just three months since new Hawaii coach Timmy Chang had his first full day on the job. Chang’s selection was preceded by a dramatic month in which former UH coach Todd Graham was testified against, leading to Graham’s resignation and a job search search that included a June Jones offer before the school eventually focused its sights on Chang.

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In the months that Chang has been on the job, perhaps his biggest task has been to repair a program that seemed broken culturally. Saturday appeared to be an early culmination of what Chang and his new staff have built thus far.

“I don’t fully know what they’ve gone through and experienced but where they are now, they seem to be really happy. They seem to be enjoying themselves playing football and that’s important,” Chang said following Saturday’s practice. “I think them enjoying their camaraderie and the ‘Braddahhood‘ of the locker room just being around each other, I think that’s important for these guys and this football team.”

In the 126 days between Saturday and the team’s season opener against Vanderbilt at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex, the Rainbow Warriors will continue to train independently over the summer before fall camp begins approximately a month before the start of the season.

“Fine tuning the skill sets and getting those things done, that’s what we’ve been harping on. But I think they’ve done an unbelievable job in their eight weeks of training, they’re transitioning into five weeks of spring ball and they’re heading into another phase and now they gotta keep building.”

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