Norm Chow finally took the plunge and found the water deeper than expected.
The first-year Hawaii football coach an offensive assistant for 39 years, with three national titles and three Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks on his resume has endured a nightmarish debut season with the Warriors.
Hawaii is 1-7 going into Saturdays game against Boise State at Aloha Stadium (5 p.m. MST, NBC Sports Network). The Warriors are 0-7 against FBS opponents and all of the losses have come by at least 12 points.
Im not sure that head-coaching is all that its cracked up to be, Chow said Tuesday. You deal with a lot of issues that as an assistant you didnt have to deal with. Everyone needs an answer and they need it now. But its been fun. I admire head coaches like (Boise States Chris Petersen) who maintain that level-headedness and do a good job year-in and year- out. I admire and I envy those guys, because its not an easy job.
Chow, a Hawaii native, inherited a program on the decline. The Warriors reached the Sugar Bowl in 2007 and shared the WAC title with Boise State and Nevada two years ago, but they are in the midst of their third losing season in four years.
There are significant financial challenges including the need for the school to pay travel subsidies to its conference mates in the Mountain West (football) and Big West (other sports).
And, like many new coaches, Chow has implemented new offensive, defensive and special teams schemes. Gone is the run-and-shoot offense, replaced by a run-heavy, pro-style attack.
We need to be a very strong, tough, physical football team, Chow said. Everybody in the country comes over here to recruit the linemen who are here. Thats the kind of guy we have to keep.
But Chow says he doesnt think about the future. His focus and, he hopes, his teams focus is week to week. This weeks challenge: overcoming what Chow admits is a physical disadvantage against the Broncos.
We obviously have a tough time matching up physically with Boise State thats obvious, just look at the tape, he said. But our guys are very willing and we work hard and thats all Im looking for.