Sports ‘We’re awfully excited’ By Stephen Tsai Dec. 22, 2011 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! ASSOCIATED PRESSNorm Chow will make a base salary of $550,000 a year under terms of his five-year contract. Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. With a contract agreement in place, University of Hawaii athletic director Jim Donovan and newly hired head coach Norm Chow buried an old football rivalry. Donovan said he told Chow: "The way I feel about this whole thing is in my two years (as a Warrior offensive lineman), we couldn’t beat you, so I’m glad we hired you." It was a reference to the rivalry between UH and Brigham Young, where Chow spent 27 years, mostly as an offensive coordinator. But Wednesday, Donovan hailed Chow’s signing, calling it "a great Christmas present for the whole state." Chow, 65, who will be introduced as head coach at a 3 p.m. news conference today, signed a five-year contract worth an annual base salary of $550,000. He will earn bonuses for bowl appearances, bowl victories, national rankings, coaching awards, nationally televised victories, and reaching attendance plateaus. "We’re awfully excited," said Carter Chow, who serves as his father’s representative. Chow, who was Utah’s offensive coordinator in 2011, will be allowed to coach the Utes in the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl. "That was the request he made," Donovan said. "We’re fine with that." Chow was scheduled to arrive this morning and departs Friday to California for a family obligation. The Utes do not practice this weekend. Chow has agreed to interview the current UH coaches. It has not been determined if those talks will occur during this trip, by telephone or after the Sun Bowl. Mouse Davis, who served as UH receivers coach, has retired from UH. Offensive line coach Gordy Shaw is on the mainland. Donovan said no timetable has been set for assembling a coaching staff. There is no rush because UH is closed, except to "essential" workers, through next week. What’s more, this is a "dead period" for recruiting, meaning coaches may not have in-person contact with prospects until Jan. 4. Wednesday was the first day midyear transfers were permitted to sign national letters of intent. Cornerback Justin Turner and defensive tackle Sione Lavaka, both of whom made oral commitments last week, did not sign because of unresolved issues. In a news release, Chow said: "I am extremely honored to receive the privilege of leading the University of Hawaii football program. It is very humbling." In addition to working at BYU and Utah, Chow was offensive coordinator at Southern California, North Carolina State, UCLA and with the Tennessee Titans of the NFL. He was a member of three national championship teams, and coached Heisman Trophy winners Ty Detmer, Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. His version of the West Coast Offense boosted quarterbacks Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Vince Young and Philip Rivers. "Offense sells tickets, and offense sells sponsorships," Donovan said. Donovan said Chow’s hiring has created a buzz at a time when the Warriors are facing difficult financial obstacles in their final year in the Western Athletic Conference. "Norm Chow is a national name," Donovan said. "He’s got a name that is positive. That’s going to help us nationally, and it’s going to help us locally in selling tickets and increasing our sponsorship. In that regard, out of the gate, he’s doing a great job for us." Previous Story Hawaii Bowl to feature Mountain West Conference Next Story Chow: Winning football games, chasing championships is 'our job'