UH likely to hire legend
of the run-and-shoot

Run-and-shoot legend Darrel "Mouse" Davis is apparently close to joining the University of Hawaii football coaching staff, sources close to the situation said yesterday.

UH head coach June Jones, whose team has put up record numbers with the run-and-shoot offense, said he had chosen a new assistant. However, he did not name Davis, his longtime friend, colleague and mentor, specifically.

"We'll announce who it is when the processing is done," Jones said.

The opening was created when special teams coordinator Tyson Helton left for Memphis after last season. Helton coached for the Warriors from 2001 through 2003.

Jones said the new coach will have responsibilities similar to those of Helton, who also assisted with the offense.

Davis could not be reached for comment.

Davis, 71, is in his first year as head coach of the San Diego Riptide of arenafootball2. Going into the season's final weekend, the Riptide (8-7) qualify for the sixth and final playoff berth in the af2 National Conference if they beat Central Valley at home and two other contenders lose.

Another run-and-shoot disciple and friend of Davis, UH linebackers coach Cal Lee is head coach of the af2 Hawaiian Islanders. Davis nearly became Lee's offensive coordinator, and instead served as a consultant to him in his first year as an arena coach last season. The Islanders and Riptide split the four times they faced each other this season.

Davis has more than 40 years' experience in coaching.

Jones and Davis' association goes back to when Jones was a record-setting quarterback at Portland State and Davis was his coach in 1975 and 1976. Davis introduced Jones to the wide-open run-and-shoot offense that features four or five receivers and intricate passing plays.

Davis and Jones have coached together with the USFL's Houston Gamblers (1984) and Denver Gold (1985) and the NFL's Detroit Lions (1989-1990) and Atlanta Falcons (1994-1996).

Davis also coached the N.Y./N.J. Knights of the World League of American Football (1991-1992) and the Arena Football League's Detroit Fury (2001-2002).

He graduated with a degree in nuclear physics from Western Oregon, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball.

In addition to taking the run-and-shoot to the pro ranks after learning it from high school coach Tiger Ellison, Davis is credited with helping to invent arena football.

"Mouse would be good," Lee said. "Everybody likes him. He's charismatic, fun, and he knows the offense. He could throw his two cents in."

Jones did confirm the new assistant is not Dennis McKnight, who was special teams coach at UH in 1999 and 2000 before resigning. McKnight had visited the Warriors during spring camp and expressed interest in the position, but he was not sure how long a commitment he could make.


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