UH football adds veteran
coach Davis

"Mouse" Davis, 71, leaves arenafootball2
to take charge of the Warriors' special teams

He knows coaching football really isn't rocket science. But nuclear physics? That's another story. A funny one, and Darrel "Mouse" Davis, the University of Hawaii's new assistant football coach, has plenty of those.

At one of his many coaching stops over the past five decades, a team public relations assistant, impressed with Davis' professional pedigree, asked what kind of sheepskin such an astute football strategist might have on his wall.

"I told him nuclear physics," Davis said, laughing. "The rest is history."

Since then, a few unwary bio readers have been caught in the Mouse trap, thinking Davis has a degree worthy of employment at a reactor rather than the master's in education from Western Oregon he actually possesses.

But when it comes to the run-and-shoot offense, his credentials are totally legitimate. And no one knows that better than Hawaii coach June Jones, who was Davis' apt pupil as a quarterback at Portland State and then a coaching colleague at four USFL and NFL stops.

"He is one of the best coaches I have ever been around, and he'll help us immensely, not only with special teams but in other areas," Jones said yesterday in announcing the selection of Davis. "He has been like a mentor to me, and I think our players will really respond to him."

Davis, 71, replaces Tyson Helton, who was 26 when he left after last season for Memphis.

Davis leaves the arenafootball2 San Diego Riptide after one year as head coach. He last coached 11-man football in 1995 with the Atlanta Falcons, where he coached quarterbacks and Jones was head coach.

"It is a little different than arena, but I've just got to tee it up and be prepared to use more drills to coach a bunch of guys in a hurry," said Davis, who is also credited with helping to design the indoor game. "I'm ready to tee it up and get after it. I'll help out wherever June wants me. I'm ready to crank it up and get it on."

Davis admits to being known more as an offensive mastermind than a special-teams coach. But he has worked with kicking-game guru Frank Gansz (who was a guest coach at UH last spring).

UH strength and conditioning coach Mel deLaura played wide receiver at Portland State, running Davis' routes and catching Jones' passes for the Vikings, who set 20 NCAA offensive records during Davis' tenure.

"He's good. A great guy, a player's coach," deLaura said. "We'll be better on special teams because he'll fire 'em up. He's good for June and June's good for him."

Davis has many friends on the UH staff. He served as a consultant for Hawaiian Islanders coach Cal Lee in 2003, when the UH linebackers coach was in his first season as an arena coach. The Islanders and Riptide played each other four times this past season, splitting the series.

Davis is stopping off in Las Vegas, where he owns a home, before arriving in Hawaii on Sunday in time for practice Monday.

"I was driving into Vegas (yesterday) and I saw a sign advertising the Society of Seven," Davis said. "I was thinking, 'Hey, the boys are here, I wonder if Ronnie is with 'em?' "

UH receivers coach Ron Lee, another friend of Davis, has worked for years at the Outrigger Showroom, home base of the Society of Seven band when they're not playing Las Vegas.

Davis said he doesn't have a permanent residence in Hawaii yet.

"I'm sure I can stay with someone in the nuclear physics department," he said.

Jackson missing in action: Mt. San Antonio College-transfer defensive lineman Austin Jackson is not expected to report with the rest of the Warriors on Sunday, and it is unlikely he will ever play for UH, sources close to the team said.

Jackson was in Hawaii during spring drills, and observed some practices. He was told by coaches it would be important for him to be here in the summer to work out with teammates, or at least remain in contact from the mainland. He did neither.

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound former USC linebacker was also recruited by Iowa State and was expected to make an impact this season for the Warriors. His father, Melvin, was on USC's 1974 national championship team and played in the NFL.

Mouse Davis' Career

New Hawaii special-teams coach Mouse Davis has coached many different teams at many different levels over the past 30 years, often working with UH head coach June Jones.

Year Team (League) Position
2004 Hawaii* Special-teams coordinator, offensive assistant
2003 San Diego Riptide (AFL2) Head coach
2001-02 Detroit Fury (AFL) Head coach
1994-95 Atlanta Falcons* Quarterbacks coach
1991-92 N.Y/N.J. Knights (WLAF) Head coach
1988-90 Detroit Lions* Offensive coordinator
1986-88 Arena League Director of football operations
1985 Denver Gold* (USFL) Head coach
1984 Houston Gamblers* (USFL) Offensive coordinator
1982-83 Toronto Argonauts (CFL) Head coach
1975-80 Portland State* Head coach

*Stops where the careers of Mouse Davis and June Jones have intersected



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