Norm Chow
Chow at a 2008 game
Current position
TitleHead coach
Record3-9 (.250)
Biographical details
Born (1946-05-03) May 3, 1946 (age 74)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
BYU (freshmen)
NC State (OC)
Tennessee Titans (OC)
Utah (OC)
Head coaching record
Overall3-9 (.250)
Accomplishments and honors
Broyles Award (2002)

Norman Chow (Chinese: ; pinyin: Zhōu Yǒuxián, born May 3, 1946) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head football coach at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, a position he assumed in December 2011. 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.[1]

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 such as Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Ty Detmer, Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, and Matt Leinart.[2]

Education and playing careerEdit

Chow, a native of Honolulu, and an alumnus of Punahou School, played college football for the University of Utah. Chow was a 2-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 received his master's degree in special education from Utah and a doctorate in educational psychology, Ed.D., from Brigham Young University in 1978.[3]

Coaching careerEdit

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. In 1973 he left for BYU to be a Graduate Assistant, a position he held for two seasons.[4] 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).[5]

In 1982, head coach LaVell Edwards named Chow as principal offensive play-caller.[6] He continued to call all the offensive plays until he left the program after the 1999 season. In 1984 BYU won the consensus national championship. He became quarterbacks coach in 1986, and was officially given the title of offensive coordinator in 1996.[7] During his 27 years with BYU, they had a record of 244–91–3.[5]

Chow spent one season as the offensive coordinator at NC State, where he coached an offense quarterbacked by Philip Rivers, before accepting the position of offensive coordinator at USC. Chow helped lead the Trojans to the 2003 Associated Press National Championship, (their first national title since 1978), and the 2004 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, graduated from USC.

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.[8]

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.[1] 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 Bruin's 2010 season proved to be an offensive disappointment: UCLA finishing 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.[9] 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. Chow never publicly made excuses.[10]

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.[9] "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."[10]

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.[2]

Head coaching interestEdit

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.[11]

Chow was a candidate to replace Karl Dorrell at UCLA, but withdrew his candidacy soon after interviewing.[12][13] Chow was also considered to replace June Jones at the University of Hawaii in 2008.[14]

On December 21, 2011 Chow was named head coach of the University of Hawaii.[15]

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Hawaii Warriors (Mountain West) (2012–present)
2012 Hawaii 3–9 1–7 9th
Hawaii: 3–9 1–7
Total: 3–9
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


Chow is of Chinese and native Hawaiian descent.[16] He and his wife, Diane, have been married for forty years and they have four children: Carter, Maile, Cameron and Chandler. Carter serves as his father's agent.[8] Cameron graduated from the University of Southern California and now serves as a high school English teacher, and another is still a student there.[17]

Awards and honorsEdit

  • 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[18]

Notable players coachedEdit

  • Reggie Bush, USC, Heisman Trophy winner, first-round draft pick [19]
  • Matt Cassel, USC
  • Ty Detmer, BYU, Heisman Trophy winner
  • Matt Leinart, USC, Heisman Trophy winner, first-round draft pick
  • Jim McMahon, BYU, first-round draft pick
  • Carson Palmer, USC, Heisman Trophy winner, first draft pick overall
  • Philip Rivers, N.C. State, first-round draft pick
  • Marc Wilson, BYU, first-round draft pick
  • Steve Young, BYU, first-round draft pick
  • Vince Young, Texas, first-round draft pick


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chris Foster, UCLA hires Norm Chow as offensive coordinator, Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Reardon, Dave (May 3, 2006). "Tennessee's Hawaiians thrill Chow". Honolulu Star Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
  3. Wen, Grace (September 12, 2003). "USC’s Chow still calls Hawaii home". Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
  4. Dirk Facer (January 23, 2011). "Utah Utes football: Chow named Utes' offensive coordinator". Deseret News. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Player bio: Norm Chow". University of Utah Athletic Department. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
  6. Lee Benson (September 7–8, 1982). "New Gambler in Town". Deseret News. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
  7. "BYU Football Coaches". CougarStats. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Klein, Gary; Foster, Chris (January 16, 2008). "Chow on UCLA's radar after his firing by Titans". Los Angeles Times.,1,5642049.story.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Chris Foster, UCLA fires Norm Chow, hires Mike Johnson, Los Angeles Times, January 22, 2011, Accessed January 23, 2011.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Shelburne, Ramona (January 22, 2010). "Norm Chow exits gracefully". Archived from the original on January 30, 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2010. "Chow made his reputation by developing quarterbacks. At UCLA he never really had one to develop."
  11. " NCF - Trojans' Chow turns down chance to coach Kentucky". Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  12. "Arizona taps Steelers' assistant as head coach". Honolulu Advertiser. January 15, 2007.
  13. Template:Closed access Foster, Chris (2007-12-21). "Bellotti interviews, and it's not just talk; Oregon coach has spoken to Guerrero, is said to be listening to Bruins' overtures and could emerge as leading candidate. Chow drops out.". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA, USA: Tribune Company): p. D.1. OCLC 220583011. (subscription required)
  14. Lewis, Ferd (2008-01-06). "Possible loss of Jones brings dire forecasts". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
  15. "Chow named Hawaii's head coach". The Sacramento Bee. The Sports Network. December 21, 2011. Archived from the original on December 22, 2011.
  16. Leonard, David. "Beyond Black and White: Norm Chow and the Case for Minority Hiring". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  17. "Chow time: UCLA hires ex-Titans coordinator; Quarterback guru once coached at rival USC". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA, USA: Hearst Corporation). 2008-01-21.
  18. "Norm Chow Named UH's New Football Head Coach". Hawaii Athletics. 2011-12-21. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  19. "What They're Saying About Norm Chow". Hawaii Athletics. Retrieved 2013-03-10.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mike Heimerdinger
Tennessee Titans Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Mike Heimerdinger
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