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Chow let go by University of Hawaii

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  • Jamm Aquino /
    Norm Chow answered questions after the Rainbow Warriors' loss to Air Force on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.
    Newly named Hawaii interim coach Chris Naeole speaks to the media on today at the UH Manoa Athletic Complex following the announcement earlier in the day of former head coach Norm Chow's departure from the UH football program.

Chow is pau after four straight losing seasons [subscription story]

Norm Chow has been “relieved of his duties” as University of Hawaii head coach after four losing seasons, athletic director David Matlin announced Sunday.

Chris Naeole, who coaches the offensive line and was promoted to associate head coach this summer, was named the interim head coach.

UH began advertising for the vacated head coach job Sunday.

“It’s going to be officially a five-day posting,” Matlin said. “We anticipate continuing the search after the five days and rolling it longer.”

Former UH head coach June Jones, Nevada offensive coordinator and former UH quarterback coach Nick Rolovich, and former UH player and associate head coach Rich Miano are expected to be candidates.

In January 2012, Chow finalized a five-year contract worth $550,000 annually. He will be paid for 90 days — the length of his  termination notice — and an additional $200,000 for the buyout of his fifth year.

Chow was not available for comment.

Chow was 10-36 in four seasons with the Rainbow Warriors, including 2-7 this season. A difficult road schedule — they played Ohio State, Wisconsin and Boise State in a four-week span — and numerous injuries likely contributed to this year’s woes. But the Warriors imploded in road losses to New Mexico and Nevada, and on Halloween, suffered a 58-7 defeat to Air Force, the worst home conference loss in the program’s history.

Chow also has endured personal problems during his tenure, including his mother’s death and his wife’s stroke. But he never missed a game, started his workday at 5 a.m. and fought for benefits for his players, coaches and staff.

“I’m kind of shocked right now,” defensive coordinator Tom Mason said. “I don’t understand getting rid of coaches. I thought Norm had the program going in the right direction in a lot of ways. In a year or two, he would have had this thing really rolling.”

But it appeared patience had run out after nearly four years.

“Ultimately, we feel this decision is in the best interest of the university and athletics department, and we need to move in a different direction.” Matlin said in a release.

Naeole also could not be reached for comment.

“It was unfortunate,” co-captain and quarterback Max Wittek said. “I wish we could have played so this wouldn’t be an issue. These are the decisions left up to the people who are paid to make them. We just play the games. We’re going to continue to play the games.”

Co-captain and linebacker Lance Williams said he was saddened by the announcement.

“We’re still going to play hard, no matter what happens without the head man in front of us,” Williams said. “It’s not just the coaches’ team. It’s the senior leadership. It’s our team. The coaches are there to guide us. It’s up to us to play.”

Mason said: “I hate this kind of stuff. I feel sorry for Norm. I think he left his heart and soul with this program.”

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