In the early 1980s, Hawaii head coach Greg McMackin was on Jack Elway’s San Jose State coaching staff that spawned five future Division I head coaches.
"I learned a lot there," McMackin said. "It gave me the basics of practice plans. We still use the same practice plan. Elway was a very organized person, and ahead of his time in football."
During those Spartans practices, McMackin, who was coaching the defensive backs, faced an offense coordinated by Dennis Erickson, who went on to a successful head coaching career. Erickson ran a spread attack, which, in turn, helped McMackin develop a quarter zone scheme that has found its way into the current UH defensive playbook.
During McMackin’s five-year tenure there, the Spartans twice broke into what was then the Top 20 rankings. The Spartans also were able to beat Stanford, which was led by Jack Elway’s son, quarterback John Elway.
"We were there five years, and we were successful," McMackin said. "I was at Idaho before that. I got out of the snow, so I enjoyed that."
Jack Elway then was hired at Stanford.
"Jack was really influential, and my time at San Jose State, I met a lot of really great people," McMackin said.
WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE