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UH offensive coordinator leaving for Boise State

  • COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII ATHLETICS

    Zak Hill

University of Hawaii football offensive coordinator Zak Hill is leaving UH to take a similar job at Boise State.

First-year Rainbow Warriors head coach Nick Rolovich announced the hiring of Hill just last month.

“Zak made the decision in the best interest of him and his family and we wish him well,” Rolovich said today. “Our focus is now on finding a replacement and moving forward. We recruit coaches and players the same way. We want people who want to be here and who fit into the Live Aloha, Play

At Eastern Washington, Hill was one of the most successful offensive coaches of the past decade in the Football Championship Series division, a notch below the top level of Football Bowl Series, which UH and Boise State compete in.

During his nine total years at EWU – including two years as a student assistant in 2004-05 – the Eagles ranked in the Top 10 nationally (FCS) in passing eight times; six times in total offense; and four times in scoring offense. In 2015, EWU led the nation in passing (353.3 avg.) behind quarterback Jordan West, who ranked second nationally with 300.2 passing yards per game and 30 touchdowns.

Also during Hill’s time at EWU, the Eagles won the Big Sky Conference (outright or share) six times and the 2010 FCS National Championship.

His most recent quarterback protege was Vernon Adams, a two-time finalist for the Walter Payton Award as the nation’s top FCS player, who transferred to Oregon and started their last season.

Going back to when Rolovich was UH’s offensive coordinator in 2011, whoever replaces Hill will be the eighth person to hold the job title or perform the duties in six seasons. Hawaii has not had a winning season since 2010.

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    • Negative on Rolo calling the offense, he stated this early on. But who will Rolo be able to attract with what UH offers? Zak Hill didn’t even give Hawaii a chance. Or maybe he did and in that short time has seen what BS goes on at UH and our State government. Nice going Gov Ige, what was that you said earlier about your support for UH athletics in your budget? I hope Matlin has the guts to remind him. But it’s better that Hill leaves now than later. No commitment, good riddance.

      • David Ige is almost as tactless as Neil Abercrombie. I don’t know what voters saw in this guy. Neil almost chased the Pro Bowl away. Leave it to Ige to destroy UH football.

        From DLNR appointments to the state IT boondoggle, I hope voters learn we need a governor with a minimum level of competence, come next election.

    • Agree, Rolo should’ve been coaching the offense and calling plays to begin. Lots of winning FBS HC also act as OC. Rolo has the experience and success both here in Hawaii and at Nevada.

    • I’ll bet half of the people here posting on this page would leave a job they recently took if an employer came along to double your salary, allow your family to stay in a far more affordable part of the country, and you didn’t have to move your family very far. I’d like to hear a rump chump lie about that not being the case.

      • and I’ll double your bet and say more than three-quarters would take that offer. most here are just whiny, hypocrites. however, in this particular case Zak Hill is playing with fire. in his line of work your reputation, trustworthiness and loyalty are important factors in whether a team with similar values hires you or not. he may have burned some bridges by doing this but whether it was worth it is only for him to decide and time to tell.

  • Zak Hill should be ashamed of himself if this news is true. A person in his position abandoning a program at this stage of the recruiting process is not just classless, it shows a complete lack of integrity. He was given an opportunity to coach at the FBS level by UH — he made a commitment to do so — and now a week before signing day he jumps ship??

  • 2 ways to look at this
    1. No class/ his word means nothing
    2. His contract was not completed yet by the upper campus/ AD and signed which would fall on the administration and that is pretty par for the course at UH.

    • There is a third way of looking at this. Maybe the new head coach who himself is just learning how to be in charge is rubbing people the wrong way and causing them to leave? Need to look at ALL possibilities. One key player and one key coach have now decided to leave. Is this coincidence or something else?

  • First Milton splitting unexpectedly and now the newly hired offensive coach is now splitting for Boise State? Two big sudden defections and no one thinks somethings up in a bad way with the new coach? Positive thinking is essential but one more major defection to complete the hat trick and maybe need to go back to the application pool and choose a different coach before the season starts. My understanding the other two are still in Hawaii. Seriously bring the other two back with Rolo and wait a few seasons BEFORE putting him in charge. Has the contract been inked yet? I don’t think UH and the public can handle 4 more years of failure.

      • I like to think Milton is like Mariota and will blossom at the college level. Milton might not be big like Cam Newton but reminds me of a Doug Flutie type who was very succesful at the college level. UH could use an accurate passer with a quick release and that would definitely help win games for UH.

        • Only time will tell. Until then he is unproven and can’t be considered a loss to UH. Move on dude!!

    • Inverse, get off the meds. You’re not thinking straight. People change their mind. Sometimes it’s nobody’s fault, but their own. Milton is not a big loss. He saw greener pastures.

    • Do you follow HS football? Players de-commit a lot. And from quality schools with quality football programs. To date Rolo is bringing a lot more positives to the table than negatives. Many local players are now considering and committing to UH, players that would not have done so in the past. Others want to be a part of the program, Fred Ulu-Perry? Your comment seems to be in line with Zak Hill’s, no commitment to Rolo or UH and just bail out. Anticipating 4 more years of failure at this stage? Really?

      • Then UH should stop hiding the truth. Something is WRONG at UH and the sooner the public knows and demands correction, the better. If it was made public that Fib Arnold and the UH compliance officer where having big problems and shatz was going on BEFORE it bacame a big deal with the NCAA, UH would not be facing major sanctions with its basketball team and could have better handled the termination of Fib Arnold. You are right I am only guessing but I do know where there is smoke there is fire and whatever the problem with UH football, the coach and/ or the UH administration the problem will NOT go away when they try to sweep it under the rug, cause like Arnold, it will only blow up into a major disaster.

        • Accept it! Boise pays better nuff said. The guy had no connections and no loyalty-that’s his character. Probably better off without him. He was the type of guy that couldn’t build a team he had to walk into one…

    • did Rolo reject your advances or something? what’s with your extreme negativity with Rolo? you act like a spurned lover. give the guy a chance! he hasn’t even had a first game yet! sheesh!

      • No Rolo is not my type but like you stated the choice of head choice by Maitlin was NOT the preferred outcome based on the other applicants. Fine, I agree Rolo should be supported and maybe even the homegrown quarterback recruit that left should not be of concern but I hold Rolo responsible for the sudden departure of his offensive coach. Hill was Rolo’s choice and as the person in charge he is responsible to make sure he chooses people who are loyal to him and the team. But loyalty is a two way street and the person in charge must earn the respect of the people he leads including standing up for his people at the expense of putting the leader in danger of getting into trouble or even fired. Of course everyone must support Rolo and the team but this sudden departure of his OC is a very bad sign that cannot be discounted. I am sure UH administrstors told Rolo to keep his mouth shut on the matter but ignorance is not bliss and unfortunately whatever is going on will make it that much more difficult for UH football to get out of the sewer.

  • Total lack of loyalty and integrity. Hill just started has job here. You were given all the info and requirements
    And this is what we get in return? Buck Foise !

    • Hahaha! 2 best words in this post so far. Zak Hill better invest in a hard hat if he ever trots out on a Hawaii field as part of the Foise football staff.

  • I’m sure Zack is getting a lot more from Boise State. still, bailing on Rolo at this point in time is pretty bad. who does stuff like that if you are a professional?

  • Blame Gov Ige for the lack of resources and committment. Check out the facilities and salaries Boise State has committed. Why can’t we compete with Boise, Idaho for Pete’s sake. Thanks Gov Ige for taking care of the rail contractors and homeless, and the cancer center that loses millions a year. Great!

  • These things happen so Rolo just needs to move on. Apparently Hill talked a good story to get the position. I seriously think June Jones should be hired as our next OC. He definetely is not going any where. He loves Hawaii and would love nothing better than to implement some new offensive thinking to his run and shoot. JJ had the good sense to bring his former coaches on board like Glanville and Mouse Davis. Rolo should also make that consideration.

  • What a bold faced lie from Zack Hill when he committed to UH. That is very poor sportmanship. He’s gotten some commits from players now he leaves. No contract signed? Poor on Zack Hills part!

  • Too bad about Zak Hill. Can’t blame him for accepting the BS job as it probably pays him twice as much as he would be receiving from UH. The only problem is his loyalty , character , he accepted Nicks offer and BS who really doesn’t believe in commitment and just goes after anyone & stole him from UH. I think ZH was a great somewhat unknown coach at a lower level and Nick found him and hired him. He would have been great for UH, we can only hope he flops for BS. All we can do is fill the stadium and beat BS like we did to BYU!

  • I didn’t like that guy from the beginning. He just didn’t look like he would fit in here And, he didn’t sound sincere. he is where he belongs.

    • I think Milton’s in a better situation, with a coach who had recruited him while he was at Oregon. Best of luck to the young man. Can’t compare his situation with Hill’s.

  • Very shallow move. Like, “I’ll take the job, but if something better comes along, I’m bailing.” No loyalty or commitment. Screws up the program. Now we need to start over. Later loser.

  • Bailing out already? Season hasn’t even started. He shouldn’t have accepted the position. Stab Rolovich in the back. I hope Boise has a losing season. In fact don’t even come to Hawaii in the future.

  • I have more of a problem with Boise State. First, they try to poach the newly hired OC at Fresno State and when that doesn’t pan out, they turn to another conference member and lure Hill.

    As for Hill, the problem I have is that Rolo gave him his first chance to coach at the FBS level, and leaves at the first sign of a bigger opportunity. Yup, kinda no class.

    FYI: Boise plays at Hawaii this season. Hill better stay in the coaches’ box, or wear a helmet if he’s on the field!

  • Amazing, season hasn’t started, signed on just a month ago and now he’s out of here. Sometimes one is able to see what kind of character a person has by the way he carries himself or does business.
    Time to move on. Lots of poachers out there.

    • difficult for a coach to leave after signing a contract. sounds more like the u.h. did not have a signed contract for hill. no contract means no paycheck. no paycheck means no coach.

  • Thanks Dave, well we lost another O.C. because of the money, so how long must we suffer because the State won’t back the only game in town, the only reason he left was Boise offered him a lot more money then Rolo.

  • I think UH fans on this board have no class because they are shooting off without knowing all of the circumstances. Perhaps a family situation caused him to stay in the Northwest? Stop spewing ahead of knowing the entire situation.

    • There is no comparison. Rolo was still on contract at UH when he accepted the UMass job. He flew out there to work on a volunteer basis about a week before recruit signing day. A week after recruit signing day, he received and accepted the offer from Nevada. He had little if any impact on UMass recruiting, and no UMass recruit was driven away by his decision to leave. Hill on the other hand has been here for seven weeks. He’s helped to plan the new UH offense, determine who should be recruited to run the offense, and been personally involved in selling the program to the offensive recruits. And now he’s bailing at the worst possible time, just one week before signing day, when there’s still time for other programs to swoop in and convince recruits who wanted to play in Hill’s offense to go elsewhere.

      • At least one of Rolo’s recruits from Oahu got stuck at UMass because Rolo left after the recruit signed. The recruit, who followed Rolo to UMass, didn’t have a choice to look elsewhere.

    • Boosters should assist in boosting the salary level for the assistants as our pay level is not competitive with the rest of the conference teams. We are at the bottom in one if highest COL city’s in the US

  • Like any of you all with the silly comments never apply for several jobs and the better one comes after the no so great one is offered. Better school, better facilities, better PAY! SMH

    • Been there, done that. A formal offer was made to me after starting a new position. Requested and was granted private meetings with the Director and VP of my department. Was not chasing a counter offer, just straight up talk with both of them. I stayed and declined the offer. Have confidence in yourself as a person and your abilities to complete the tasks at hand. Other opportunities will be there. Your character as a person is an important commodity.

  • The character of a person is measured in his word. I would say that unless it involved family (not involving money) or disagreement with the head coach his character is severely lacking.

    Don’t know why people always want to interject politics and how much they hate Hawaii. If you hate it so much….move already. Don’t sit on your behind all day and whine. Make a difference or else leave.

  • Would JJ be willing to take the OC job if offered?

    Does the top brass not want JJ at all?

    Does Rolo not want JJ?

    Thinking of what Rolo mentioned about wanting people who wants to be here it would make all the sense in the world to have JJ the OC. Also money will not be an issue looking at what JJ has chose to do by accepting a high school coaching position that pays very little.

    Guarantee added exposure by ESPN to help recruiting.

  • Governor Ige destroyed UH athletics… and this guy is a Jerk and a loser to commit somewhere and then take off like that…hes not a recruit , hes a grown man at least give one year of commitment…this may hurt recruiting.

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