Several dozen former and current University of Hawaiʻi regents joined two former governors in hearing first hand what to expect when the UH Warriors take the field this fall for the first football game under new head coach Norm Chow. The room of CEOs, business owners and leaders of the state was spell-bound under Coach Chow’s charm, humor and drive.
One would think after serving for several years as regents for the University of Hawaiʻi System, which entails hours of reading, preparation work and meeting attendance every month, these community visionaries would have reached their fill of all things UH but they still gather at least twice a year to keep themselves updated on the latest happenings at Hawaiʻi’s only public higher education institution.
The questions and comments ranged from “How to keep good high school players home when they believe they’ll get more attention from the pro scouts on the mainland?” to “How are you going to approach winning more football games this season?”
Coach Chow replied, “I’ve told our players ‘you don’t just represent the football team or the university; you represent the entire state.’ We feel this responsibility very strongly. At the collegiate level, the school is driven by donations and donations are driven, by and large, by success on the football field! You (the athletes) play a critical role in the future of this university.”
Chow also described how pro scouts meet annually in a sequestered environment where they “get breakfast at 7:30 a.m., bathroom break at 10 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m., bathroom break at 3:30 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., and go till 10 p.m.” reading the name of and discussing every single high school football senior in the nation. Chow says nobody gets overlooked. “If you’re a good player, pro football will find you. The mainland experience does not give any athlete a special edge. “
Other random thoughts and quotes from the coach
On recruiting locally—“Hawaiʻi plays awfully good football at the high school level. We’re going to recruit as hard as we can, put a fence around our local stars, and we’re going to make them tell us no.”
How the team performs—“If we match the opposing team blow for blow, fight till the end, we’ll take the results on the field.”
His formula for success—“1. Play good defense, 2. Take care of the ball—don’t lose it, 3. Have good, consistent special teams and 4. Win in the 4th quarter.”
Finally says Chow, “The fans have to support us; that’s part of the formula for success.”