Hawaii is hiring former star quarterback Timmy Chang to be its next coach, the school announced Saturday. Chang, 40, is the receivers coach at Colorado State and will replace Todd Graham, who resigned this month after posting an 11-11 record in two seasons. Chang has spent a decade working in collegiate assistant roles following a professional playing career that included stints in Europe and Canada.
"I'm back," Chang said. "I'm home. In my heart, I've never left. Like I've always done, I'm ready to give my all for Hawai'i. The highest privilege in coaching is the right to represent an institution as a head coach. This is beyond indescribable. I get to do it here in Hawai'i, where I am from. I am so proud to represent MY school and state. I'm honored to lead the BRADDAHHOOD."
His hiring for the coaching job comes a day after his former coach at Hawaii, June Jones, turned down an opportunity to return amid a snag in negotiations. A Hawaii native, Chang played quarterback for the Rainbow Warriors from 2000 to 2004, throwing for 117 touchdowns and 17,072 yards. He still ranks second all-time among FBS quarterbacks in yards passing.
"I am excited to welcome back legendary quarterback Timmy Chang to Manoa," Hawaii athletic director David Matlin said. "Timmy made a name for himself throwing the football as a young quarterback and has continued his legacy in the collegiate coaching ranks over the past decade. The time has come for him to take over the program that developed him into the coach, father, husband and leader he is today."
Chang will inherit a challenging situation, but his familiarity with the Mountain West and the Hawaii program should help. Graham's resignation came amid a mass exodus from within the roster amid allegations that he fostered a poor culture within the program. Graham posted an 11-11 record after taking over for Nick Rolovich following the 2019 season.
Though hiring Jones, 68, would have rallied the fan base around a possible return to the program's glory days -- Hawaii went to the Sugar Bowl in 2007 before Jones left for SMU -- getting Chang could do something similar. His achievements as a player, and his time spent working under highly regarded offensive mind Jay Norvell at Nevada and Colorado State should make it an easy hire for Hawaii fans to support.