H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Wednesday, October 15, 1997

BYU a homecoming
for English

University of Hawaii offensive coordinator Wally English has been here, there and nearly everywhere since becoming a football coach 35 years ago.

One of his stops along the way was Provo, Utah, where he was the offensive coordinator for the Brigham Young University Cougars for part of two seasons.

He left in 1980 to become the offensive coordinator for Jackie Sherrill at the University of Pittsburgh, but he has fond memories of those two seasons at BYU.

"That place was so nice, it was scary," English said. "It was a place that wanted you to sit down and be a part of that community, just plant some roots and just stay there. To make it even tougher, we had Jim McMahon and Marc Wilson at quarterback.

"Wilson was a junior and McMahon was a sophomore, and when you have two All-Americans like them coming up through the ranks, it would have been a comfortable situation and I could have stayed there.

"It would have been nice and a lot of fun to stay in Provo because it was good for your family, just a great place to raise kids. But I wanted to be a head coach."

English also wanted to make enough money for his family. So when Sherrill started waving around bigger dollars, English bid Provo a fond farewell.

"In 1980, I had a chance to go to Pittsburgh, not knowing Dan Marino was going to pop up while I was there," English said. "Sherrill convinced me Pittsburgh had a bunch of good, young players and he wanted to change the offense a little bit to the passing game.

"I had to take it. I was making $23,000 at BYU. Jackie paid me $31,000, plus he gave me a $1,000 bonus right out of his pocket. I enjoyed Pittsburgh, but it was a completely different life style than Provo."

English has stopped in to visit several times since leaving the Beehive State. He's looking forward to visiting with old friends, including current BYU offensive coordinator Norm Chow.

"I know a couple of the guys, including (defensive line coach) Tom Ramage and of course, LaVell, English said. "It's a fine football program. I'm looking forward to competing against them."

CROSSOVER GAME SET: Hawaii's crossover game next year will be at home against Southern Methodist. The Rainbows will play the Mountain Division team in Dallas in 1999.

This year, Hawaii's crossover game is with BYU. The Cougars will be on Hawaii's schedule the next two years as part of the quadrant shift.

Hawaii's eight conference games next season are San Diego State, Fresno State, San Jose State, BYU, Utah, New Mexico, Texas-El Paso and SMU. The non-conference games are all at Aloha Stadium against Arizona, Arkansas State, Northwestern and Michigan.

When the schedule was put together a couple years ago, Hawaii's crossover game was with Wyoming. Neither school wanted that game because of the travel, so a switch was made.

SMU was an original member of the Southwest Conference that was broken up by the departures of Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech to the Big 12. SMU, TCU and Rice joined the Western Athletic Conference. Houston went to Conference USA.

That means SMU will be on Hawaii's schedule for four consecutive seasons. In the year 2000, the quadrants are scheduled to shift again. Hawaii's quadrant will play SMU, Texas Christian University, Tulsa and Rice for two years, home-and-away.

INJURY UPDATE: Robbie Robinson returned to practice and played cornerback with the second team. He has been sidelined with a nasty ankle sprain since the beginning of the season.

UH defensive coordinator Don Lindsey isn't sure how much he will play this weekend, but he could see some time. The starting cornerbacks are Al Hunter and Donnell Williams or Blase Austin.

Chris Shinnick was cleared to practice at free safety. He suffered a mild concussion in Saturday's win over Fresno State, but will probably return to the starting lineup.

The news wasn't as good for Bob Pigott. The nose tackle didn't suit up again due to ankle and knee sprains. It's unlikely he'll make the trip to BYU this weekend.

Fellow defensive lineman Matt Elam returned to full contact. He was sidelined for two weeks with a neck injury. Safety Daniel Ho-Ching was in full pads for the first time in more than two years. He was sidelined with cancer since October of 1995.

--By Paul Arnett


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