Rolovich on board
The former UH star is named the team's quarterbacks coach
STORY SUMMARY »
Nick Rolovich was magic toward the end of the 2001 Hawaii football season, setting records not even Colt Brennan could break. He vanquished BYU to complete a 9-3 season, throwing eight touchdown passes in a 72-45 romp.
Now Rolovich, 28, is the Warriors' new quarterbacks coach, and he will try to pass on his mastery of the run-and-shoot offense to current and future UH signal-callers.
Yesterday was his first day on the job. Rolovich met with his two veterans -- senior Tyler Graunke and junior Inoke Funaki. He already knew them from a student assistant stint at UH in 2004 and 2005 -- Tim Chang's last year and Brennan's first.
Rolovich said being a former UH quarterback will help him teach the players, and that his age difference is a good one.
"I can relate with some of the things they're going through," Rolovich said. "I feel like maybe I can be like an older brother rather than a dad thing."
Rolovich replaces Dan Morrison, 58. Morrison was Rolovich's position coach, and the only quarterbacks coach in June Jones' nine years as Hawaii head coach. Morrison joined Jones, who left UH for SMU earlier this month.
Rolovich is now reunited with the first Hawaii coach he ever had contact with; new head man Greg McMackin recruited him in 2000.
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Nick Rolovich had been to the office on the second floor of the University of Hawaii athletic department many times before.
Position: University of Hawaii quarterbacks coach
Born: Feb. 16, 1979, in Daly City, Calif.
Family: Wife Ana, son Daniel (5 months).
High school: Martin Catholic (Kenfield, Calif.). All-league in football and baseball.
College: Two-time junior college All-American quarterback at City College of San Francisco; Started three games at UH in 2000; as a senior in 2001, played in 10 games, passing for 3,361 yards, 34 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Threw 20 touchdown passes in last three games, including eight in 72-45 win over BYU to end UH career. Was MVP of Hula Bowl.
Pro: Tried out for Denver Broncos, assigned to Rhein Fire (2003), AFL San Jose SaberCats (2004, 2005), Dresden Monarchs (2006), AFL Las Vegas Gladiators (2007).
Coaching: Student Assistant, Hawaii (2004, 2005), Assistant Coach, City College of San Francisco (2007).
Little known fact: Greg McMackin recruited Nick Rolovich to play at UH before leaving for Texas Tech in 2000.
The difference now is he's at the desk, not on the couch.
Rolovich is UH's new quarterbacks coach. Eight years ago he played the position for the Warriors.
Rolovich said he will try to emulate at least some of the traits of his predecessor, Dan Morrison.
"Coach Morrison's good at being a life coach kind of guy," Rolovich said yesterday, near the end of his first day on the job. "When I was in here with him, not only did we watch a lot of film, but we had a lot of good discussions, and not just about game situations, but life situations. It was one of his strengths."
Rolovich said he wants his players to know he cares about more than what they do on the field.
"I'm probably not as qualified with the psychology background (Morrison) has, but I do think you have to have a genuine concern for the overall person," Rolovich said.
Some might think he's too young for the job at 28, but Rolovich has packed a lot of experience into the six-plus years since he led the Warriors to a 9-3 record in 2001.
He had stints as a player in the Denver Broncos camp, in NFL Europe and arena football.
Rolovich paid his coaching dues as a UH student assistant and then as a full-time assistant at his junior college alma mater, City College of San Francisco.
Rolovich met with quarterbacks Tyler Graunke and Inoke Funaki yesterday, and plans to catch up with Jake Santos, Kiran Kepo'o and Shane Austin by the end of the week.
"Today was kind of a real organizational day," said Rolovich, who added that he viewed DVDs of quarterback prospects. "I probably didn't get through a tenth of them, there's so many. The day flew by."
He also wants to pass the NCAA recruiting test as soon as possible so he can join the efforts of the rest of the Warriors coaches.
"I want to be able to do whatever Coach (Greg) McMackin wants me to do," Rolovich said.
Rolovich's bond with McMackin goes back nearly a decade, to when McMackin recruited him to UH from junior college, while Hawaii was in the middle of its miracle turnaround season of 1999.
"He was the first (Hawaii coach) I had contact with. It was fairly late in the process for me. I had tripped Minnesota, Cal and Marshall," Rolovich said. "I just liked how he approached me, and he told me what was happening in Hawaii. I felt like he was a genuine person."
McMackin left for Texas Tech after that season. Rolovich didn't meet up with him again until last season's game at San Jose State.
"I thanked him for getting me started here (as a player)," Rolovich said.
When it began to look like June Jones would leave Hawaii for SMU, Rolovich thought he might have a shot as the Mustangs quarterbacks coach. But when Morrison accepted Jones' invitation, Rolovich was left with what he considered a very good possibility.
McMackin said he thinks Rolovich will be a great fit for the Warriors.
"I'm really excited that he's joining us. I've watched his career and have always been proud of him and knew that he had an inner strength and would be a great coach," McMackin said. "He's going to bring us a lot of power."
Rolovich's move here brings his wife, Ana, home. She is from Maui, and they have a baby son, Daniel.
"She's excited, just to be back in Hawaii," Rolovich said. "And this is a great place for our son. The sights, the feeling of warmth. I can't think of a better place."