LAS VEGAS For 15 years, you couldnt think of Fresno State football without conjuring an image of former coach Pat Hill.
For 13 years, you couldnt think of Hawaii football without envisioning the run-and-shoot offense.
Both are gone this year and both schools are hoping their new identities will energize their teams and fan bases as they move into the Mountain West.
Fresno State hired Texas A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter, who promptly ditched the pro-style offense for a spread scheme. He also will implement his 3-4 defense, which quarterback Derek Carr said confuses him often in practice.
With how we recruited the past four years, the system were running right now, its perfect for us, Carr said. This will be the fastest team weve ever put on the field.
Hawaii is going the opposite direction. New coach Norm Chow, who has served as the offensive coordinator at USC, UCLA and Utah in the college ranks, and with Tennessee of the NFL in recent years, replaced the spread-based run-and-shoot with a pro-style, West Coast offense.
The pass-happy run-and-shoot became the Warriors signature when coach June Jones was hired to revitalize the program in 1999.
Chow expects to hear grumbles the first time his offense sputters.
June and those fellows did a terrific job with the run-and-shoot, said Chow, who plans to call the plays. The run-and-shoot is a tremendous way to play college football, but thats not us. We want to be able to run the ball. We want to be able to play tough, hard-nosed defense. Our No. 1 goal is to win by playing good defense. In order to do that, you have to practice against running (plays) and you have to keep (the other teams offense) off the field. I dont think it will be as exciting, but it will be different.
Chow is changing the culture at Hawaii with some strict discipline. Among his edicts: All players must cut their hair so it doesnt flow out of their helmets, a common sight particularly among the teams Polynesians.
I dont think everyone was too excited, cornerback Mike Edwards said, but they didnt complain and that was the biggest thing I like to see out of the whole situation. (Chow) told us, Right now, Hawaii is a tough program to be in. Wed love to have everybody on board right now, because its going to be something special.
DeRuyter also has faced some challenges during his transition. The team wasnt in good enough shape to run the fast-paced spread offense during spring ball. He used that session to give players a better idea what to expect and likes what he has seen from summer conditioning.
When I first talked to them, DeRuyter said, I said, Im big into communication. Im big into being real. I didnt recruit you guys. You guys didnt pick me. But both of us picked Fresno State.
DeRuyter has a different agenda for the Bulldogs.
Hill was famous for his anyone, anytime, anywhere mantra. He also was unable to win an outright WAC title.
Well play anyone, anytime, anywhere, DeRuyter said, but our goal is to win this league.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat