Norm Chow has enough on his plate as the first year head coach of the Hawaii Warriors. A less than stellar 2011 was enough to send Greg McMackin into early retirement and prove the powers that be in Manoa have the same amount of patience as a seven-year-old who hears an ice cream truck. Now a second DUI arrest is putting added stress on what would be an already stressful 2012 campaign.
June Jones’ success as the offensive coordinator/head coach gave Hawaii fans expectations normally reserved for schools in BCS conferences. Of course it didn’t hurt to have a once-in-a-generation quarterback in Colt Brennan. Norm Chow doesn’t seem to be so lucky.
Before Chow puts on his headsets for the first time, he must deal with not only replacing the most recent Warrior’s quarterback, Bryant Moniz, but must now deal with a season marred by off-season issues.
Earlier in the month the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Chow suspended QB Cayman Shutter for the first four games of the 2012 season stemming from a March DUI arrest. Normally an incident like this would have little effect on the team as Shutter was not a favorite to be a starter going into spring ball. These aren’t normal times for the Warriors.
The obvious pick at quarterback for 2012 would be David Graves who filled in for an injured Moniz last season. Spring proved Graves wasn’t ready for top billing leaving Chow to search deeper into his depth chart for a quarterback he could trust. Utah State transfer Jeremy Higgins looks to take the reigns but is seriously lacking in experience.
If uncertainty at quarterback wasn’t enough, Chow is implementing his pro-style offensive attack which is a serious departure from the fun-and-gun system employed by the previous administrations.
This month, a mere three after Shutter’s run in with the Honoulu police, Hawaii linebacker Alema Tachibana has been arrested with similar charges according to the Star-Advertiser.
Hawaii isn’t the first program to find players in the local PD”s off-season police blotter. Chow, however, isn’t a seasoned head coach who is used to being charged with building a program and administering discipline. Leaders must step up and do so in a hurry as the Warriors football program upgrades to the Mountain West while playing non-conference foes such USC and BYU.
Chow has been waiting years for a head coaching opportunity. As the old adage goes, be careful for what you wish for.