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Category: Norm Chow

Report: Norm Chow to become head coach for first time at Hawaii

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Norm Chow will start his head-coaching career against the team he helped lead to multiple national championships and against the coach who replaced him as offensive coordinator.

According to multiple sources, Chow has been offered and is expected to accept the head-coaching position at Hawaii, which just happens to open its 2012 schedule against USC on Sept. 1 at the Coliseum.

Hawaii Athletic Director Jim Donovan received permission from the university administration to negotiate a contract with Chow, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Chow, a Honolulu native, is said to have emerged Monday as the leader among three finalists after a meeting among top university leaders. A press conference announcing the hiring could be held as early as Thursday, depending on negotiations and Chow's travel schedule.

Chow, 65, served as the Trojans' offensive coordinator from 2001-04, during which time USC won two national titles and had a pair of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks in Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. He turned down an offer to become Kentucky's head coach in 2002.

He left USC for the Titans job in 2005 and was replaced by Lane Kiffin, who has been the Trojans head coach for the last two seasons. Chow also served as offensive coordinator at UCLA from 2008-10 and spent last season in the same role at Utah.

Hawaii's previous coach, Greg McMackin, retired earlier this month after posting a 29-25 record in four seasons, including a disappointing 6-7 mark this year.

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-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Norm Chow with Carson Palmer in 2001. Credit: Los Angeles Times

UCLA to pay Norm Chow $500,000 not to coach the Bruins this season

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UCLA will be paying former Bruins offensive coordinator Norm Chow $500,000 while he’s coaching at Utah this year, according to information obtained by The Times in a Freedom of Information request.

The money was the buyout price to get Chow to resign in January after he had been fired as offensive coordinator. He would have been reassigned had he not resigned.

Chow immediately jumped to Utah and signed a two-year, $550,000 contract to be the Utes’ offensive coordinator. He is Utah’s highest paid assistant coach.

UCLA's highest paid assistants are defensive coordinator Joe Tresey and offensive coordinator Mike Johnson, who both have $250,000 base salaries.

Chow was considered a coup when Bruins’ Coach Rick Neuheisel hired him in 2008. He had developed three quarterbacks who won the Heisman Trophy. But the Bruins struggled after switching to the “pistol” offense last season and Neuheisel decided to make a change.

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UCLA football: Norm Chow to become Utah's offensive coordinator, source says

Normchow_300 The Norm Chow watch is about to come to an end.

Chow, replaced as UCLA's offensive coordinator by Mike Johnson, will be named the offensive coordinator at the University of Utah, according to a source in the UCLA athletic department. Chow spent 27 seasons as an assistant coach at Brigham Young University in Utah, 21 of them as offensive coordinator.

Utah could make the announcement as soon as Saturday.

Chow, who was the Bruins' offensive coordinator the last three seasons, has two years remaining on his UCLA contract at $1 million. UCLA officials and Chow's representative are working on a buyout, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because UCLA has not yet authorized an announcement.

The 64-year old Chow developed Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks and helped Trojans teams win national titles. His departure from UCLA comes less than a year after a tug of war with USC for his services. Chow's representative was contacted by USC, where he was the offensive coordinator from 2001 to 2004, but Chow decided to remain at UCLA after receiving assurances he would get a contract extension.

Chow's position has been tenuous since November, when Coach Rick Neuheisel refused to offer support when repeatedly asked during a news conference whether Chow would return as offensive coordinator. Neuheisel said he would "evaluate" the situation after the season.

Chow has had success at every other stop, winning national titles at BYU and USC. He developed quarterbacks Ty Detmer, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, all Heisman Trophy winners. He also put North Carolina State's Philip Rivers and BYU's Steve Young, among others, on the path to the NFL.

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Norm Chow. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

UCLA football: Mike Johnson set to become Bruins' assistant

Mike Johnson has reached an agreement in principle to become an assistant coach at UCLA, according to a person inside the program who was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Johnson, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers, could be in place by the end of the week. His duties have yet to be defined, but with Norm Chow’s status unclear, he could take over the offensive coordinator spot.

Johnson has been a wide receiver and quarterback coach in the NFL and at Oregon State. He was the offensive coordinator for the 49ers last season.

Chow has a two-year contract extension worth about $1 million. His situation has been tenuous since November, when Coach Rick Neuheisel declined to commit to bring him back. Chow could be demoted or negotiate a buyout. Chow would receive the contract’s full amount if he is fired, but receives nothing if he quits.

Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said in November that UCLA would honor the contract extension.

Neuheisel has overhauled his staff since the Bruins finished a disappointing 4-8 season. Defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough and wide receiver coach Reggie Moore were fired.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported last week that Utah has contracted Chow about joining the Utes staff.

Johnson was hired as the 49ers quarterbacks coach in 2009 and was promoted to offensive coordinator last season. He has history with Neuheisel, as the two were assistants with the Baltimore Ravens. Johnson has also coached with Atlanta and San Diego in the NFL and was part of the Oregon State staff.

-- Chris Foster

UCLA Football: Contract considerations cloud Norm Chow's possible departure

Norm_240 Norm Chow's contract situation at UCLA could delay Coach Rick Neuheisel’s attempts to reshape his staff.

While Neuheisel has zeroed in on a new offensive coordinator, he still must shed himself of Chow, his offensive coordinator for the last three seasons. Neuheisel and former San Francisco assistant Mike Johnson have been in talks.

UCLA spokesman Marc Dellins said Wednesday that no one had been offered a job.

Chow’s situation likely will need to be resolved first.

If Chow quits, he will not receive any money from his two-year contract extension. If he is fired, he will receive the full amount. If Chow is hired elsewhere, the amount of his new contract will be deducted from what UCLA owes him. The deal is believed to be worth about $1 million.

UCLA officials and Chow are expected to work on a financial settlement, according to a person inside the program who has knowledge of the situation but is not authorized to speak on the subject. The negotiations could go into next week.

Chow could also be demoted and assigned to other duties for the duration of his contract.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Utah Coach Kyle Whittingham has had talks with Chow. Utah’s top assistant coach made $170,000 last season, according to the Tribune.

Chow did not respond to text messages. Don Yee, Chow’s agent, did not return telephone calls.

Neuheisel declined to comment.

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Norm Chow. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images.

UCLA football: Mike Johnson in line to replace Norm Chow as offensive coordinator

Johnson1 San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Mike Johnson appears set to become UCLA’s offensive coordinator, leaving Norm Chow’s future in doubt, according to a source inside the program who was not authorized to speak on the matter.

A UCLA official said Wednesday that, “no one has been hired,” but the source said that Johnson and Bruins Coach Rick Neuheisel have been in talks. Neuheisel did not respond to phone calls or text messages.

Johnson, the 49ers' offensive coordinator last season, would replace Chow, who agreed to a two-year contract extension last summer. Multiple sources in the program said that Chow would either be demoted or leave.

The contract extension, which is guaranteed, is worth about $1 million. A buyout remains a possibility.

UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, when asked about paying off coach contracts, said, “I’m not talking about that issue. I'll put it this way, we will do what we have to do depending on the direction Rick chooses to go.”

Neuheisel fired defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough last month following a disastrous 4-8 season. Bullough has one year remaining on his contract at $325,000.

Johnson, 43, spent the past two seasons with the 49ers, as quarterback coach and offensive coordinator. He and Neuheisel worked together as assistants with the Baltimore Ravens in 2006 and 2007. Johnson has also coached in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and San Diego Chargers. His previous college experience was at Oregon State from 1997 to 1999.

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UCLA football: Neuheisel juggles recruiting, staff decisions

Neheisel_300 UCLA assistant football coaches hit the road recruiting Monday, while head Coach Rick Neuheisel still pondered the future of the staff.

The Bruins were 4-8 overall this season and 2-7 in Pacific 10 Conference play, finishing ninth for only the second time since the conference expanded to 10 teams.

Neuheisel continued to say he would evaluate the staff but did not set a timetable for a decision to be made. He has repeatedly dodged the question about the future of offensive coordinator Norm Chow and defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough.

“I would like to make decisions quickly, but we have to be prudent,” said Neuheisel, who has a 15-22 record and has not finished higher in conference play than eighth in three seasons as the Bruins’ coach. “We have to make sure we have everything information-wise.”

The current recruiting period lasts until Dec. 20, but Neuheisel was hopeful that any staff decision made before the Feb. 2 signing date would not affect players who commit.

“The kids understand that assistant coaches, for whatever reason, might have an opportunity that is best for their family,” Neuheisel said. “You hope that [recruits] will choose schools based on the university and the direction that program is headed.”

But, Neuheisel said, “I try to do as good a job as I can with as many of the guys , creating relationship with me. I try to make sure they understand that I am, or at least I’ve told so, going to be here.”

Financial considerations will not play a big role in staff decisions.

Chow has a two-year contract extension believed to be worth about $500,000 per season. Bullough has one year left at $325,000 and offensive line coach Bob Palcic has one year left at $210,000.

That leaves UCLA committed to about $1 million in assistant coach salaries for the 2011 season.

“Everything will be factored in,” Neuheisel said. “But you can’t be hamstrung making decisions for what is best for the program by that.”

Besides, he said, “what’s best for the program could be everybody being back.”

As for next season, Neuheisel said he would “be crushed, as I am today, if we’re not going to a bowl game a year from now.”

Whether failing to do so would put his job in jeopardy, Neuheisel said, “That’s for another person to answer. The short answer I can give is I am going to do everything I can to get UCLA football back playing championship football in the new Pac 12.”

-- Chris Foster

 Photo: Rick Neuheisel. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images

Norm Chow gets contract extension from UCLA

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The University of California Board of Regents has approved a two-year contract extension for Norm Chow, offensive coordinator of the UCLA football team.

The extension is believed to be worth about $500,00 per year.

The extension was approved by the regents last week and UCLA was notified on Monday, but Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, who was traveling with the basketball team, was not informed until Wednesday, a UCLA spokesman said.

Chow and UCLA agreed on the extension in July.

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Norm Chow. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Kansas State finishes strong to defeat UCLA, 31-22

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Kansas State 31, UCLA 22 (final)

Daniel Thomas and Akeem Ayers waged a battle within a battle all game long Saturday, and in the end Thomas won with two key plays that allowed the Wildcats to win in front of a sellout crowd at Manhattan, Kan.

Thomas, the Big 12 Conference's top returning rusher, busted through an arm tackle by Ayers, UCLA's standout linebacker, and galloped 35 yards for the touchdown that finally put the Bruins away with 21 seconds left in the game.

Earlier in the quarter, Kansas State was clinging to a one-point lead when Thomas busted off a 27-yard run that got 15 yards tacked onto it after Ayers was penalized for hitting him late. The run and penalty sparked an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive that put the Wildcats up, 24-16.

Thomas finished with 234 yards and two touchdowns in 28 carries, leading a Kansas State running game that went for 312 yards.

UCLA got 120 yards passing and 30 yards rushing by Kevin Prince, who played the entire game despite missing considerable practice time because of a back injury the last couple of weeks.

Prince completed only nine of 26 passes, though -- mostly because UCLA's receivers had trouble holding onto the ball.

UCLA hung close thanks to another player fighting off an injury. Kicker Kai Forbath, who has been nursing a groin injury, made field goals from 44, 35 and 42 yards.

--Mike Hiserman

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Kansas State 24, UCLA 22 (1:19 left in the game)

What was largely a ho-hum game has turned humdinger in the final minutes.

Kansas State looked like it had the game wrapped up when it scored on a five-yard pass from Carson Coffman to Broderick Smith with 2 minutes 3 seconds left in the game. The point after gave the Wildcats an eight-point lead.

That meant UCLA was left to depend on a two-minute drill led by a quarterback who because of injury hasn't practiced much recently.

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UCLA football: Norm Chow to get two-year contract extension

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UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow has agreed in principle to a two-year contract extension that is believed to make him the highest-paid assistant coach in Bruins history, an athletic department source said.

Chow, long considered one of college football’s top offensive coordinators, is expected to make between $400,000 and $500,000 per season. The contract does not include a buyout.

Only 18 NCAA Division I assistants made a base salary of $400,000 or more last season, with five making more than $600,000, according to USA Today.

 Tennessee’s Monte Kiffin, now at USC, made $1.2 million. Texas’ Will Muschamp made $900,000. Tennessee’s Ed Orgeron, who also jumped to USC, made $650,000. Florida State’s Jimbo Fischer made $629,000. Washington’s Nick Holt made $600,000.

The final details of Chow’s contract are being worked out, but it is expected to be in place well before the season opener at Kansas State on Sept. 4.

UCLA officials declined to comment. Chow could not be reached for comment.

Chow, 64, will make $340,000 this season in the final year of a three-year deal. He also received a $250,000 bonus in April from remaining at UCLA through the contract.

Chow has had three quarterbacks win the Heisman Trophy: BYU’s Ty Detmer and USC’s Carson Palmer and  Matt Leinart. He also has three national titles, with BYU in 1984 and USC in 2003 and 2004.

--Chris Foster

Twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

Photo: Norm Chow. Credit: Los Angeles Times.

USC football: Lane Kiffin reacts to Norm Chow's decision to stay at UCLA

Lane Norm Chow's decision to remain as offensive coordinator at UCLA, with a contract extension, came as no surprise to those familiar with the history between Chow and new USC coach Lane Kiffin.

Kiffin, who was hired to replace Pete Carroll, reacted to Chow's decision today.

"We reached out to Coach Chow and his representation, and the word came back that he is very happy where he is," Kiffin said through a school spokesman. "The Trojan family will always be grateful to him for his time here.

"I'm sure he'll continue to have great success across town."

I'll have more later at latimes.com/sports.

-- Gary Klein

Photo: Lane Kiffin. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire

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