Hawaii makes Chow’s hiring official

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Following up on multiple reports from Tuesday, Hawaii has officially announced that Norm Chow has been hired as the Warriors’ new head coach.

The 65-year-old Chow, who has never been a head coach during his 39-year coaching career, will replace Greg McMackin, who “retired” earlier this month after four years at the school.

“I am happy and proud to welcome Norm Chow as our new football coach,” athletic director Jim Donovan said in a statement. “I’d like to thank the search committee for their work the last two weeks. I’d also like to thank Glenn Sugiyama and DHR International for their support. Obviously Norm is one of the best offensive minds in the country and we are thrilled that he’s able to come home to lead our football program. This is special not only for the university but for him. His wide-open offense and name recognition will only help us in recruiting the top talent to our university and football program.”

“I am extremely honored to receive the privilege of leading the University of Hawai’i football program; it is very humbling,” Chow said. “This is a program with great history, and I feel excited and energized about creating a program that will make all of the people of Hawai’i feel pride for the university and our state. I am looking forward to coming home, to family and friends, and I am going to do my best to contribute to the rich history of Hawai’i and its progress. I want to thank President Greenwood, the Board of Regents and Athletics Director Jim Donovan for giving me this opportunity, and I am looking forward to meeting the student body at the University of Hawai’i and getting them excited about Hawai’i Football.”

Chow spent the first 27 years of his coaching career (1973-1999) at BYU before moving on to offensive coordinator jobs at North Carolina State (2000), USC (2001-04) and UCLA (2008-10) at the collegiate level and with the Tennessee Titans (2005-07) at the NFL level.  He served as the coordinator at Utah, his alma mater, this past season.

As noted by Ben, Chow’s first game as a head coach will carry a little additional spice thanks to the opponent; the Warriors open the 2012 season at USC and against Lane Kiffin, who replaced Chow as the Trojans’ coordinator following the 2004 season.

With Hawaii filling their vacancy with Chow, there are currently four Div. 1-A (FBS) head-coaching openings — Akron, Houston, Penn State and Pittsburgh.  And how did we know that?  By clicking HERE for the coaching carousel, of course.

Ohio State transfer Jared Drake moves on to the FCS

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After moving on from Ohio State, Jared Drake has opted to drop a couple of rungs on the college football ladder in continuing his playing career.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday, Drake announced “that the next stop on this long journey will be with the Leathernecks of Western Illinois University!” As Western Illinois plays at the FCS level, the linebacker will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.

Drake came to the Buckeyes as a walk-on in 2015.  he played in nine games the past two seasons, almost exclusively on special teams.

According to his official OSU bio, Drake had “added long snapping to his résumé along with his responsibilities as a linebacker.”

Houston, UTSA announce tweaks to twin home-and-homes

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The aftereffects of Hurricane Harvey continue to linger, in this case as it pertains to college football scheduling.

Houston and UT-San Antonio in March of 2016 announced a future four-game series, with two of the games set to be played at the latter’s home (2017, 2023) and two in the former’s (2022, 2024). Because of the once-in-500 years flooding event in the Houston area last August, however, the 2017 game was canceled.

In a press release Thursday, UTSA confirmed that the canceled 2017 game will now be played on Aug. 30, 2025, at TDECU Stadium in Houston. The 2023 game, which had been scheduled to be played in San Antonio, will now be played in Houston.

The 2022 and 2024 games had been scheduled for Houston’s home but will now be played in San Antonio’s Alamodome.

The two football teams have met twice previously, in 2013 and 2014. The road teams won each of those matchups, with the Roadrunners spoiling the opening of UH’s new stadium in the 2014 game.

Oregon LB arrested for removing parking boot dismissed by Ducks

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In April, Fotu Leiato was arrested on a couple of charges related to the illegal removal of a parking boot from his vehicle.  A month later, we’ve learned Leiato was given the boot from his current football program for good measure.

247Sports.com was the first to report that Leiato has been dismissed by first-year Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal.  Further to the point, the linebacker’s dismissal came a day after his April arrest but the news didn’t surface until Thursday.

In the April incident, Leiato was arrested on charges of second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree theft and criminal trespassing.  That was actually his second arrest this year as he was charged with misdemeanor trespassing in January.

The combination of the two arrests led Cristobal to pull the trigger on a dismissal.

Coming to Eugene as a three-star safety, Leiato played in 37 of 38 games the past three seasons.  The Washington native earned the first start of his collegiate playing career during the 2017 season.

The senior had been in line to earn a starting job exiting spring and heading into the summer phase of the offseason.

LB Darrin Kirkland announces transfer from Tennessee

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Darren Kirkland‘s injury-plagued time on Rocky Top has come to an end.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday evening, Kirkland announced that he has decided to transfer out of first-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt‘s Tennessee football program.  The linebacker gave no specific reason for his decision to move on from the Volunteers.

“Tennessee will always hold a special place in my heart,” Kirkland wrote. “These moments have been priceless and I’m a better player and man from this experience.”

As a graduate transfer, Kirkland would be eligible to play for another FBS program in 2018.  Not only that, but he will have two seasons of eligibility remaining counting this year.

A four-star 2015 signee, Kirkland started 10 games as a true freshman and then another six in a sophomore campaign marred by a high-ankle sprain that forced him to miss four games.  In summer camp last year, he suffered a knee injury severe enough to sideline him for the entire 2017 season.

The rehab from that injury kept Kirkland from being a full participant in Pruitt’s first spring practice this year.