When Hawaii takes the field for its game Saturday night against Nevada, it’ll do so without one of its nine assistant coaches.
In a statement released overnight, Chris Naeole announced his resignation as the Rainbow Warriors offensive line coach, effective immediately. Naeole cited unspecified “philosophical differences with the handling of disciplinary matters in the program” as the trigger for his decision.
Naeole was absent from a pair of practices this week and didn’t travel with the team to Reno, giving rise to speculation about his status with the football program.
“In my heart, I believe I served the program and the student-athletes to the best of my ability, and with the same work ethic, desire and passion to excel that pushed me at all levels of my playing career,” Naeole said in the statement. “However, due to certain philosophical differences with the handling of disciplinary matters in the program, I’ve offered my resignation as the offensive line coach. I have always believed in the integrity and principles of what our community and the University stands for and those same beliefs are what I have tried to instill in my players.”
According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, at least seven Rainbow Warrior football players have been suspended the last couple of weeks.
Naeole was in his fifth season as UH’s line coach. In 2015, the former Colorado first-team All-American served as interim head coach for the final four games of the season after Norm Chow was dismissed by the university.
“He was critical in holding this program together in the transition from Coach (Norm) Chow to myself,” head coach Nick Rolovich said in his statement. “We wish him well in his future, and we will meet this challenge head-on, because that is the Warrior way.”