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Rainbow Warriors tap former star quarterback Timmy Chang as head coach

University of Hawaiif football coach timmy chang
FILE - Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Timmy Chang prepares to pass the ball during an NFL football camp July 22, 2006, in Bethlehem, Pa. The University of Hawaiʻi has hired former quarterback Chang as its new head coach. Athletics director David Matlin announced Chang’s hiring on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, in a news release. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy, File)

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi has hired former star quarterback Timmy Chang as its new head coach.

Athletics director David Matlin announced Chang's hiring on Saturday in a release, saying Chang "made a name for himself throwing the football as a young quarterback and has continued his legacy in the collegiate coaching ranks over the past decade.

"The time has come for him to take over the program that developed him into the coach, father, husband and leader he is today.”

Just last month, Chang was hired by Colorado State to be its wide receivers coach. Previously, he spent five years at Nevada under Jay Norvell — who is now Colorado State's head coach — as a tight end and wide receivers coach, and also had coaching stints at Emory and Henry and Jackson State.

Chang, who is from Honolulu, set the NCAA's all-time passing (17,072) and total offense (16,910) records when he played for Hawaiʻi from 2000 to 2004. He was also a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Award in his last season with Hawaiʻi. Chang also played in the Canadian Football League and NFL Europe.

Chang said in a statement: "I'm back. I'm home.”

“In my heart, I’ve never left. Like I’ve always done, I’m ready to give my all for Hawaiʻi. The highest privilege in coaching is the right to represent an institution as a head coach. This is beyond indescribable,” he said. "I get to do it here in Hawaiʻi, where I am from. I am so proud to represent MY school and state. I’m honored to lead the BRADDAHHOOD.”

Chang will be formally introduced next week. No details about his contract were made available on Saturday night.

Earlier this week, former Hawaiʻi football coach June Jones declined a proposal to return to lead the program for a second time. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that Jones bristled at a two-year contract and the fact Matlin would have to approve the assistant coaches.

Jones took to social media to voice his displeasure with the terms.

“I am still interested in this job for the people of Hawaiʻi, but the job offered me today, there is no way I could accept with the conditions offered me,” the 68-year-old tweeted. “No coach in their right mind would accept!"

“Dictating who can be on my staff and only 2 year contract … what recruit would come if I was here for 2 years?. This has never been about money — but it is about giving me the ability to turn our program around and not have people tell me who is on my staff or how to coach my team.”

Jones took Hawaiʻi to an undefeated season and Sugar Bowl berth in 2007, then left for Southern Methodist University. He is the winningest coach in UH football’s history since it moved to Division I, and had gained the support of many former players and coaches.

Former Hawaiʻi coach Todd Graham resigned more than a week ago amid controversy after completing the second year of a five-year contract. He stepped down after former players and some parents testified before a state legislative hearing, criticizing the coach’s management style and relationships with players. More than a dozen players entered the transfer portal.

Graham gave up a $1,275,000 buyout by resigning. The Rainbow Warriors were 6-7 overall this season, including 4-7 in the Mountain West after going 5-4 overall and 4-4 in the conference the year before.

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