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Norm ‘Chow Time’ Shirts Popular with Hawaii Fans

How excited are Hawaii fans to have a local guy as head coach of their football team? One Honolulu store specially made some “Chow Time” shirts and they’ve been selling like crazy. Local store Butigroove ordered six boxes of the shirts mid-week and they began going quickly. Even the $25 price tag didn’t deter buyers.

Chow has been an offensive coordinator since 1996 but has never held a head coaching position. He’s 65 years old, so he probably figured it was finally time to see how he could do as the man in charge. Now he’s getting his opportunity. He may be on the old side, but he’s giving Warriors fans a reason to be excited about the program. If he can do anywhere near what June Jones did for the school, he’ll be fine. I don’t think he can match that level of success.

H/T Sports by Brooks Live

Norm Chow Reportedly Out as UCLA Offensive Coordinator, Mike Johnson in

The long anticipated move away from Norm Chow has finally happened at UCLA. Bruins Nation passed along word of a report from Bruin Report Online’s Tracy Pierson that 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson has been hired as UCLA’s new OC, replacing Chow. The news was also tweeted by Bruins safety Dietrich Riley who said “congrats 2 Coach Mike Johnson for joining the UCLA program and becoming our Off Coor. Now lets get a D Coor!!” Chow still is on the staff and has been offered the team’s quarterback coach position according to David Vassegh, but Chow almost assuredly wouldn’t take such a step backwards.

Chow came to UCLA three years ago to much fanfare given his previously peerless reputation. But after largely having little success with the Tennessee Titans, Chow’s offense failed to produce at UCLA. The Bruins went 4-8, 7-6, and 4-8 in Chow’s three years on the staff, ranking 109th, 94th, and 104th in the country in scoring offense. While head coach Rick Neuheisel made quick work of Chuck Bullough, firing the former defensive coordinator in December, he was slower to replace Chow.

Johnson was in his first season ever as an offensive coordinator, getting promoted to the position after Jimmy Raye was fired in San Francisco mid-season. With Mike Singletary being replaced by Jim Harbaugh as head coach, the coaches’ jobs were not safe, so Johnson has decided to move to UCLA. Johnson, who previously served as both a wide receivers and quarterbacks coach at various collegiate and professional stops, was on the Baltimore Ravens staff with Neuheisel in 2006 and 2007. We have been told that Neuheisel, who already is offensively-oriented as a coach, will likely have an even bigger role working with the team’s offense.

UPDATE: SPORTSbyBrooks Live passes on a report from Tom Dienhart that Chow will take an offensive coordinator job at Utah.

Vince Young’s Hands Tied by Norm Chow

I’m not putting words in anyone’s mouth, I’m just reading between the lines. Check out Vince Young discussing the difference between Norm Chow and Mike Heimerdinger, the Titans’ new offensive coordinator:

Vince Young certainly harped on a few themes there, saying Heimerdinger’s more aggressive and unpredictable. VY also makes it clear that under Chow he couldn’t run as much nor throw the ball downfield too much. Obviously I’m not in the Titans film room or huddle, but I can tell you a few things. For one, Chow’s track record is pretty legit. Secondly, running only lasts for so long for QBs in the NFL. I’m sure VY would have run more if he didn’t have the quad and leg injuries last year. And let’s not forget that when you run, you subject yourself to lots of punishment from the defense, not exactly something to help one’s chances at longevity. In other words, I’m not ready to join VY’s party in knocking down Chow.

UCLA Football Is Finally Legit

At least it appears that way for the time being. Phone calls were shared and cheers were aplenty late Sunday evening and all of Monday amongst the Bruin crowd. No sooner than the moment Lawrence Tynes kicked his way out of torture were the Westwood faithful already focused on a newer, greater piece of news: UCLA had hired Norm Chow as their new offensive coordinator. What is so great about the hire? It means that within two months, UCLA football has gone from six-win oblivion, to all of a sudden having possibly the best coordinator tandem in all of college football, and no doubt a marquee coaching triumvirate of DeWayne Walker, Rick Neuheisel, and now Norm Chow. I am clearly excited about the news as it gives a fresher, reassuring appeal to a football program which had grown stagnant.

Furthermore, speaking specifically about the Chow hire, I am amazed that it happened. First of all, I was stunned to hear that the Titans had fired him. Why? was my first question. How easy can it be to coordinate an offense with an unorthodox QB in Vince Young who was running on a bad wheel most of the year? Not too easy in my opinion. As Gutty Little Bruins told me, Chow was the sacrificial lamb for all of VY’s sins. Sounds about right to me. Next, I thought Chow was way too high profile to come to Westwood. He had already interviewed for the head coaching position but didn’t get it. He had bigger fish to fry. Yet Chow went from pro back to college — in the same capacity — clearly a step down. Regardless, I’m happy about it.

So, as The Driver emailed in, UCLA now has one of the most accomplished offensive coordinators in college football paired with one of the top defensive coordinators in college football, working under a man who somehow convinced both men to come to Westwood. Oh, the future seems bright. Still, before the Honeymoon begins, I must express my skepticism. For one, can these brilliants chefs make a kosher meal if they don’t have good groceries to begin with? In other words, the signs of success could take a few years. And secondly, say they do have success, how long will Chow and/or Walker stay? Or worse, say UCLA does poorly next year, will Walker regret his decision to stay in Westwood and then skip town as soon as he gets his first bite?

While I don’t have the answers to these questions, I will put my skepticism aside and instead smile about something I haven’t in years: UCLA football. We are back.

And p.s. USC fans, the Chow hire cancels out the loss at Pauley Pavilion. Don’t think I would neglect to mention that loss.