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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Norm Chow expected to be named football coach at Hawaii

The 65-year-old Chow, formerly an assistant at USC and UCLA, is regarded as one of college football's best offensive coordinators but has never been a head coach. Hawaii will face USC in 2012 opener.

December 20, 2011|By Gary Klein
  • Former UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow is expected to be named Hawaii's new head coach.
Former UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow is expected to be named Hawaii's… (Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles…)

USC could see a familiar face on the opposite sideline when the Trojans open the 2012 football season against Hawaii on Sept. 1 at the Coliseum.

Norm Chow, the Trojans' offensive coordinator for two national championship teams, is expected to be named head coach at Hawaii, according to multiple published reports.

Chow, 65, is offensive coordinator for Utah, which is preparing for the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech.

"I don't know what the reports are saying but there's nothing been finalized," Chow said after practice Tuesday. "I haven't signed a piece of paper. . . . I'm not trying to be coy. I'm here coaching football for the University of Utah. We have a nice game to play in and I'm real excited about that. We'll just have to wait and see."

Asked if he planned to coach in the bowl game, Chow said, "If [Utah Coach] Kyle [Whittingham] would have me, I would be honored to stay."

It would be the first head coaching job for Chow, a Hawaii native who directed USC's offense from 2001 to 2004 after a long, successful tenure as Brigham Young assistant and a short stint at North Carolina State.

Chow mentored Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC before then-coach Pete Carroll nudged him to the NFL's Tennessee Titans after the 2004 season so that Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian could direct the offense.

Chow later coached at UCLA before joining Utah's staff this season.

Chow would replace Greg McMackin, who was 29-25 in four seasons at Hawaii.

gary.klein@latimes.com twitter.com/latimesklein

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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