Hawaii Football Coaching Candidates
Who will be the next Warriors head coach?
A look at the candidates?
Hawaii football is in the market for a new head coach after Todd Graham resigned late Friday night in a move that was nearly universally praised. Graham has been reported to be a handful with reports of Graham not treating players as they should.
The Hawaii State Senate got involved with a hearing which included not only Graham but athletics director David Matlin who was 100% behind the now-former Warriors football coach.
Now that Graham is gone, it is time to look at who could take over as the new Warriors head coach. One key factor is having someone who is in tune with Hawaii, the program, and the culture.
Brian Smith, former Washington State offensive coordinator
This is someone who is familiar with the program by being a player and a coach with the Warriors and could be a good fit.
Former Washington State AHC/OC Brian Smith is an early name to watch in the Hawaii football head coaching search, per source close to the situation. Smith was a C/LS at #HawaiiFB from 1998-2001 and returned to coach on the staffs of June Jones, Greg McMackin, and Nick Rolovich.
— Marc Delucchi (@maddelucchi) January 15, 2022
Timmy Chang, Colorado State WR coach
The former Hawaii record-setting quarterback would back a name Warriors fans would really want to be as their next head coach. One issue that his highest level of coaching has been as a position coach at the FBS level.
— Stephen Tsai (@StephenTsai) January 16, 2022
Robert Anae, Syracuse offensive coordinator
Anae is very familiar with the Hawaii program as a former graduate assistant. He was one of the finalists for the job in 2020. His most recent stops have been as an offensive coordinator at BYU and Virginia. His current Syracuse title is very new since Bronco Mendenhall stepped down as the Cavaliers head coach
Ed Lamb, BYU associate head coach, special teams coordinator
Lamb was No. 2 to get the job when Todd Graham was selected so it would make sense to look at him again. BYU has had back-to-back double-digit win seasons, plus Lamb was a fairly successful head coach at Southern Utah.
June Jones, former Hawaii head coach
Jones must be included for what he did at Hawaii which included a Sugar Bowl run with the Warriors back during the 2007 season. He had a successful stint at SMU and took them to their first bowl game since the death penalty which spanned 25 years between bowl games.
This would be a bold choice and one that might excite the fan base but would not be great long term due to his age and the trend that coaches that take turn two don’t always perform all that great.
Brian Norwood, UCLA assistant head coach
A lot of people see Norwood as the opposite as the ousted Graham and that is a really good thing. The Warriors need a coach that is attuned to the player’s wants and needs, but also one who can command a team. Norwood is also the passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach, so his expertise is on both sides of the ball.
Victor Santa Cruz, Hawaii defensive coordinator
Santa Cruz has been solid coaching the defenses for the Warriors with few hiccups. He has had great game plans when needed to get the victory, just remember the 2020 victory over Nevada. The one issue is that he was on staff with Graham and that might be seen as a negative.
Johnny Nansen Arizona defensive coordinator
Nansen’s title with Arizona is very new from this offseason and he has never been a coordinator at any level. He has been primarily tasked with coaching linebackers, special teams, defensive line, and running backs as a position coach. His recruiting prowess when he was at Washington, UCLA, USC, and yes, Idaho, could give him a unique edge.