Norm Chow

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Norm Chow
Chow at a 2008 game
Current position
TitleOffensive Coordinator
TeamLos Angeles Wildcats
Biographical details
Born (1946-05-03) May 3, 1946 (age 73)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1970–1972Waialua (HI) HS
1973–1974BYU (GA)
1975BYU (freshmen)
1976–1977BYU (WR)
1978BYU (RB)
1979–1981BYU (WR/RB)
1982–1985BYU (WR/RC)
1986–1995BYU (QB/WR)
1996–1999BYU (asst. HC/OC/QB/WR)
2000NC State (OC/QB)
2001–2004USC (OC)
2005–2007Tennessee Titans (OC)
2008–2010UCLA (OC)
2011Utah (OC)
2016Manhattan Beach (CA) Mira Costa HS (assistant)
2020–presentLos Angeles Wildcats (XFL) (OC)
Head coaching record
Overall10–36 (college)
5–25 (high school)
Accomplishments and honors
Broyles Award (2002)
Norm Chow
Simplified Chinese[1]
Traditional Chinese

Norman Yew Heen Chow (born May 3, 1946)[2] is an American football coach and former player. He was the head football coach at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a position he assumed in December 2011 until November 1, 2015. Chow previously held the offensive coordinator position for the Utah Utes, UCLA Bruins, the NFL's Tennessee Titans, USC Trojans, NC State Wolfpack, and BYU Cougars.[3]

Chow won the 2002 Broyles Award as the nation's top collegiate assistant coach. He also was named the 2002 NCAA Division I-A Offensive Coordinator of the Year by American Football Monthly and was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year in 1999 by the American Football Foundation. He is well known for developing quarterbacks. During his time as an assistant football coach, Chow has helped coach 8 of the top 14 career passing-efficiency leaders and 13 quarterbacks who rank among the top 30 in NCAA history for single-season passing yardage. The list of players he coached includes Jim McMahon, Steve Young, and Philip Rivers, as well as Heisman Trophy winners Ty Detmer, Carson Palmer, and Matt Leinart.[4]

Early life[edit]

Norm Chow was born and raised in Honolulu. His paternal grandfather was an immigrant from China, his mother is Native Hawaiian, and he is of Chinese, Hawaiian, and Portuguese descent.[5][6][7] Chow graduated from the Punahou School.

Education and playing career[edit]

Chow played college football at the University of Utah, and was a two-year starter and a three-year letterman offensive guard for the Utes. In his senior season, Chow was named to the All-WAC first team and gained All-America honorable mention honors. He then played briefly in the Canadian Football League, for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, before an injury ended his professional athletic career. He was selected to Utah's All-Century Team.[citation needed]

He graduated from the University of Utah in 1968 with his bachelor's degree in physical education.[8] He received his master's degree in special education from Utah in 1970 and his doctorate in educational psychology, Ed.D., from Brigham Young University in 1978.[9]

Coaching career[edit]

High school[edit]

Chow began his coaching career in Hawaii, where he was born, at Waialua High and Intermediate School. He was the head coach there from 1970 to 1972 and posted a 5–25 record in three seasons.[10]

Brigham Young University (BYU)[edit]

In 1973, he left for BYU to be a Graduate Assistant under LaVell Edwards, who was installing an innovative pass-oriented offense.[11] He was promoted to receivers coach in 1976, a post he would hold until 1982 (apart from a one-year stint as running backs coach).[12] In 1979, BYU led the country in passing offense, total offense, and scoring offense during the regular season, and quarterback Jim McMahon finished fifth in the Heisman vote.

In 1982, head coach LaVell Edwards named Chow as principal offensive play-caller.[12][13] Chow continued to call all the offensive plays for the rest of his 17 years at BYU.

In 1983, the offense, led by quarterback Steve Young, set NCAA single-season records for pass completion percentage (71.3%) and total yards per game (584.2). Young finished second in the Heisman vote.

In 1984, the unbeaten BYU team won the consensus national championship. Quarterback Robbie Bosco finished second in the nation in total passing and third in the Heisman vote.

Chow became quarterbacks and receivers coach in 1986.[12] In 1990, the Cougars upset defending national champion and top-ranked Miami, FL., 28-21, with nearly 500 yards of offense and Ty Detmer went on to win the Heisman. In 1996, Chow was officially given the title of assistant head coach / offensive coordinator / quarterback / receivers coach.[12] That season, the Cougars with Steve Sarkisian as quarterback, won the WAC and earned its first ever New Year's Day Bowl. BYU came from behind to beat Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl, and finished with No. 5 ranking and a 14–1 record, setting an NCAA record for most wins in a season by Division I football team.[14] Sarkisian finished the season with a quarterback rating of 162.0, the third highest in the country.

During his 27 years with BYU, the Cougars had a record of 244–91–3.[12] When LaVell Edwards retired, Chow was passed over as successor and left BYU for NC State.

North Carolina State[edit]

In 2000, Chow became the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at NC State under new head coach Chuck Amato.[15] Under Chow's tutelage, quarterback Philip Rivers broke seven school passing records and was named ACC Freshman of the Year.[16] NC State finished second in offense in the ACC to Florida State and won its first bowl game in five years.[16]

University of Southern California (USC)[edit]

In 2001, Chow accepted Pete Carroll's offer to serve as the offensive coordinator at USC, and became one of the highest-paid assistant coaches in the country.[17] In 2002, quarterback Carson Palmer won the Heisman trophy, the first Trojan to do so since Marcus Allen in 1981. The following year, USC finished 12–1 and won the Associated Press National Championship, the school's first national title since 1978. In 2004, quarterback Matt Leinart won the school's sixth Heisman trophy and USC trounced Oklahoma 55-19 in the BCS National Championship.

He left USC in spring 2005, after unsuccessfully interviewing for the Stanford head coaching vacancy, for a job offer to be the offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans—his first job on the professional level. Their head coach, Jeff Fisher, was a graduate of USC.

Tennessee Titans[edit]

Chow was the Titans' offensive coordinator from 2005 to 2007. During this time, the Titans had non-losing seasons in 2006 (8–8) and 2007 (10–6), and appeared in the 2007 AFC Playoffs. In 2007, the Titans were 21st overall in total offense, with a total of nine touchdown passes.[18]

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)[edit]

On January 15, 2008, after being fired by the Titans following the 2007 season, Chow was hired by new UCLA Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel as offensive coordinator.[3] When Lane Kiffin took over as head coach of the USC Trojans in early 2010, he attempted to hire Chow away from UCLA, but Chow elected to stay after being assured he would receive a contract extension. However, the Bruins' 2010 season proved to be an offensive disappointment: UCLA finished ranked 116th out of 120 teams nationally in passing yardage and 118th in passing efficiency, as they tried to install a pistol offense; in his three seasons, the team had a 15–22 record. On January 22, 2011, Chow departed UCLA after negotiating a buyout to the contract extension that would have paid him $1 million over the next two seasons rather than remain at UCLA and be demoted to a lesser coaching position.[19] While Chow made his reputation by developing quarterbacks, Ramona Shelburne of said he never really had one to develop at UCLA due to injuries to their quarterbacks.[20]

University of Utah[edit]

Chow was immediately hired as the offensive coordinator of the Utah Utes, a team that was getting ready to enter its first season in the Pac-12.[19] "Rick [Neuheisel] did a nice job with [facilitating his exit at UCLA]. And [Utah] is a good football situation," said Chow. "I went to school there, you know? I have two degrees from there. I met my wife there, my kids were born in Salt Lake. Not many people can say they get to go full circle like that."[20]

University of Hawaii[edit]

On December 21, 2011 Chow was named head coach of the University of Hawaii.[21]

Chow began his first season as head coach of Hawaii in 2012 and posted a 3–9 record. In his second year, Hawaii finished 1–11, losing five games by a touchdown or less including two in overtime. In response to speculation about his job security, Hawaii's administration expressed confidence in Chow.[22][23]

Through two seasons, Chow is one of only two Hawaii coaches (along with Fred von Appen) to begin his tenure with losing seasons since the school attained Division 1 status.[24]

On November 1, 2015 Chow was fired as head coach of the University of Hawaii after suffering a 58–7 loss at home against Air Force. Taking his spot as interim head coach was offensive lineman coach Chris Naeole. Chow's overall coaching record at Hawaii was 10–36 in four years of coaching.[25]

High school[edit]

Chow moved to Manhattan Beach, California after leaving Hawaii and joined the coaching staff of his former wide receiver at USC, Mike Williams, as an assistant coach at Van Nuys High School in the spring and summer of 2016.[26][27] Chow left Van Nuys to be an assistant coach at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach for the 2016 regular season.[28]


On June 12, 2019, new XFL franchise Los Angeles WIldcats announced Chow had been hired as their offensive coordinator. [29]

Head coaching interest[edit]

In addition to Stanford, Chow has officially interviewed for the head coaching jobs of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals; and, the NCAA's North Carolina State University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Hawaii.

In 2002, Chow turned down an offer to be the head coach of the University of Kentucky, and opted to stay at USC.[30]

Chow was a candidate to replace Karl Dorrell at UCLA, but withdrew his candidacy soon after interviewing.[31][32] Chow was also considered to replace June Jones at the University of Hawaii in 2008 but was not hired for the position at that time.[33]

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (Mountain West Conference) (2012–2015)
2012 Hawaii 3–9 1–7 9th
2013 Hawaii 1–11 0–8 6th (West)
2014 Hawaii 4–9 3–5 4th (West)
2015 Hawaii 2–7 0–6 6th (West)
Hawaii: 10–36 4–26
Total: 10–36

Personal life[edit]

He and his wife, Diane have four children: Carter, Maile, Cameron, and Chandler. Carter serves as his father's agent. He has nine grandchildren from the ages of 2-13[18]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 2004 National Championship (USC)
  • 2003 National Championship (USC)
  • 2002 Broyles Award (Nation's top assistant coach)
  • 2002 NCAA Division I-A Offensive Coordinator of the Year by American Football Monthly
  • 1999 National Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Foundation
  • 1996 NCAA Division I-A Offensive Coordinator of the Year by American Football Monthly
  • 1993 National Assistant Coach of the Year by Athlon in 1993
  • 1984 National Championship (BYU)
  • Utah's All-Century Team as an offensive lineman[34]

Notable players coached[edit]


  1. ^ "华裔周友贤获美国大学美足最佳助理教练奖 (Zhou Youxian, of Chinese descent, wins American college football assistant coach of the year award". Archived from the original on March 23, 2003. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  2. ^ "Norm Chow". Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Chris Foster, UCLA hires Norm Chow as offensive coordinator, Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2008.
  4. ^ Reardon, Dave (May 3, 2006). "Tennessee's Hawaiians thrill Chow". Honolulu Star Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
  5. ^ (Chinese) Jianan, 周友贤,有史以来第一位亚裔大学美式足球主教练 2012-01-10
  6. ^ Ferd Lewis, "Chow negotiations ongoing to be next UH football coach" Honolulu Star-Advertiser 2011-12-20
  7. ^ Leonard, David. "Beyond Black and White: Norm Chow and the Case for Minority Hiring". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  8. ^ "Utes Hire Norm Chow as Offensive Coordinator - University of Utah". University of Utah. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  9. ^ Wen, Grace (September 12, 2003). "USC's Chow still calls Hawaii home". Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
  10. ^ "Waialua, where 35-year coaching odyssey began - The Honolulu Advertiser - Hawaii's Newspaper". Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  11. ^ Dirk Facer (January 23, 2011). "Utah Utes football: Chow named Utes' offensive coordinator". Deseret News. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Player bio: Norm Chow". University of Utah Athletic Department. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
  13. ^ Lee Benson (September 7–8, 1982). "New Gambler in Town". Deseret News. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
  14. ^ Loren Jorgensen, "1996 Cotton Bowl: BYU 19, Kansas State 15 -- Cougars cotton to historic 14th win" Deseret News 1997-01-02
  15. ^ "Amato Names Chow Offensive Coordinator/Quarterback Coach" 2000-01-31
  16. ^ a b Wayne Drehs, Chow brings new ideas to home of Student Body Right 2001-08-21
  17. ^ "Coaching Rifts Add Wrinkles to U.S.C.-U.C.L.A. Rivalry" N.Y. Times 2008-12-06
  18. ^ a b Klein, Gary; Foster, Chris (January 16, 2008). "Chow on UCLA's radar after his firing by Titans". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 28, 2008.
  19. ^ a b Chris Foster, UCLA fires Norm Chow, hires Mike Johnson, Los Angeles Times, January 22, 2011, Accessed January 23, 2011.
  20. ^ a b Shelburne, Ramona (January 22, 2010). "Norm Chow exits gracefully". Archived from the original on January 27, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2010. Chow made his reputation by developing quarterbacks. At UCLA he never really had one to develop.
  21. ^ "Chow named Hawaii's head coach". The Sacramento Bee. The Sports Network. December 21, 2011. Archived from the original on December 22, 2011.
  22. ^ "Complete 2013 college football hiring and firing season primer". CNN. November 20, 2013.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Hawaii Warriors". College Football at Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Hawaii fires head coach Norm Chow". Retrieved 2015-11-02.
  26. ^ Farrar, Doug (June 29, 2016). "With draft bust label behind him, Mike Williams embraces life as a HS coach". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  27. ^
  28. ^ Thorpe, Dave (October 11, 2016). "Prep football notebook: Norm Chow assisting at Mira Costa High". Daily Breeze. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  29. ^ Samuels, Doug (June 12, 2019). "Norm Chow is back on the sidelines calling plays". Football Scoop. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  30. ^ " NCF – Trojans' Chow turns down chance to coach Kentucky". Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  31. ^ "Arizona taps Steelers' assistant as head coach". Honolulu Advertiser. January 15, 2007.
  32. ^ Foster, Chris (2007-12-21). "Bellotti interviews, and it's not just talk". Los Angeles Times. p. D.1. Archived from the original on December 23, 2007. Previously published as "Bruins have Oregon's Bellotti in their sights".
  33. ^ Lewis, Ferd (2008-01-06). "Possible loss of Jones brings dire forecasts". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
  34. ^ "Norm Chow Named UH's New Football Head Coach". Hawaii Athletics. 2011-12-21. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  35. ^ "What They're Saying About Norm Chow". Hawaii Athletics. Retrieved 2013-03-10.

External links[edit]