Insisting his public comments were misinterpreted, University of Hawaii football coach Norm Chow said today he is “fully capable” of doing his job and has no intention of quitting.
“I’m not going to quit ever,” said Chow, whose Rainbow Warriors are 0-8 in the second season of his five-year, $550,000 per year contract. “I preached not quitting to these kids. You expect me to quit? Are you crazy?”
Chow sparked controversy when he told a group of reporters “I’m too old for this” following a 47-10 loss to Utah State this past Saturday in Logan, Utah.
Chow was “speaking from frustration” and “will not give up on these kids,” athletic director Ben Jay told the Star-Advertiser today. “That’s not Norm.”
Chow said it was a “tongue-in-cheek” remark directed at Deseret News columnist Brad Rock.
“That’s what it was,” said Chow, who is 67. “I’ve said that to Brad Rock for years, even when I was here (as offensive coordinator at Utah and Brigham Young).”
Rock told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser he did not take Chow’s comment seriously.
“He used to say that when he was at Utah (in 2011),” Rock said. “I took it completely as tongue-in-cheek. I don’t know if it came across that way in my column. But he has done that before. That’s why I’m so certain it was tongue-in-cheek. He said that even when he was an assistant coach. He was shaking his head when he was saying it.”
UH quarterback Sean Schroeder said: “I see him every day. He’s fully energetic and qualified to be a head coach as anybody else in the country. He’s always in the facility working hard. He’s the hardest worker, as you have to be.”
In a teleconference with CBS Sports, which televised the UH-Utah State game, Chow was quoted as saying he was “not cut out” to be head coach. The sportscasters repeated that comment during the telecast.
Chow said that comment was in reference to the non-football responsibilities he acquired as head coach.
“I didn’t realize the administrative duties outside of football that was required – setting up the travel, setting up the hotels, (ordering) the fertilizer (for the practice field),” Chow said. “I’m fully capable of it all. I just didn’t realize what it took to do the other administrative stuff, especially at a university like that where we’re short on numbers.”
Chow added: “The football part is a breeze. I have a good coaching staff. We work hard. We’re in there at 4:30 in the morning. We have no problem in that.”
Jay said: “I’ve never gotten a sense Norm has given up. He’s not going to do that with his kids. … He doesn’t want his kids to quit and he’s not going to quit.”
Jay said, “I talked to him after the game and he was very frustrated with the way we played. We went on to talk about some other program things and he never indicated to me that he would give it (the job) up. That’s not Norm.”
Schroeder said: “From my personal experience, I don’t see him quitting on us at all. That’s absurd.”
Jay said Chow “is my coach,” and “I don’t plan on changing, unless he changes my mind.”
Jay said he and Chow will meet after the season to evaluate the program and its goals.
The 0-8 Rainbow Warriors play Navy in Annapolis, Md. Saturday.