Tim Chang has been selected as the University of Hawaii football team’s head coach.
“I’m back, I’m home and, in my heart, I never left,” Chang said from Reno, Nev., in a Zoom conference with reporters. “Like I’ve done always for this state, I’m just ready to give my all. The highest privilege in our profession is to be the head coach. This is beyond incredible for me and my family. I get to do it right here in Hawaii, where I was born and raised.”
Chang, who is Colorado State’s receivers coach and a former record-setting UH quarterback, was offered the position this afternoon. He signed a promissory major-terms agreement in which he will receive a four-year contract, with a fifth year added if the Rainbow Warriors qualify for a bowl game in 2002 or 2003. A UH official said financial terms will be announced during Chang’s introductory news conference this week.
Chang succeeds Todd Graham, who resigned last week after two seasons. Graham’s tenure ended in turmoil, with several players voicing criticism of his leadership during a Twitter Space forum that received national attention and sparked a state Senate hearing.
Chang’s hiring also was made under controversial circumstances. On Friday, former UH head coach June Jones turned down the school’s offer to be coach. Today, school officials were critical of Jones’ publicized pursuit of the job. But Jones offered praise of and support for his former quarterback.
“I always root for my guys, and Timmy Chang, I’ll be rooting for him to get it turned around,” Jones said.
Chang already has had preliminary discussions about potential candidates for his coaching staff. He said he expects to reach out to Jones, whom he considers to be a mentor. Jones was the head coach when Chang signed with UH in 2000. “I’m June Jones through and through, and I’m proud to say that,” Chang said.
Chang has met with several team leaders in Zoom calls.
Of the discontent that led to several players transferring and Graham’s resignation, Chang said, “what happened to them is unfortunate. …We’re going to chalk that up as an experience. We’re going to close the chapter in the book.”
Chang said he followed the drama of the past six months. “there needs to be some healing,” Chang said. “There also needs to be some understanding about where the direction is going and what we need to do. The best thing we can do is put a product on the field that’s going to win. I think this state’s at best when we’re winning football games.”