As we head down the stretch of the UH football season, the biggest question regarding the program’s future is that of the coaching staff.
Head coach Norm Chow is in the third year of a five-year contract. UH is 2-6 (1-2 Mountain West) this season and his overall record is 6-26 (2-17) with five games left this season (barring a miracle run of the table that would lead to a Hawaii Bowl berth).
Per his contract, it would cost $750,000 to buy out Chow’s contract for its remaining two years. His salary is $550,000 per year, but a provision in the pact calls for a discounted $250,000 buyout in its fifth year.
I asked athletic director Ben Jay today for comment on the situation.
“Norm and I will sit down after the season to evaluate the year as I do with my other coaches,” Jay said in a text.
When I followed up asking if that means replacing Chow with an interim coach before the end of the season is not being considered, he replied with the following:
“I will talk to Norm at the end of the season. Norm Chow is my head coach and he and the team has my full support.”
One of the things people like to say in this particular situation is that Jay does not have the stomach to fire anyone.
There is also the question as to how much he will be allowed to be the one to pull the trigger anyway — or if the decision will be made by the new chancellor, president, or someone else.
It is no secret that the AD himself is vulnerable with his most supportive ally, former chancellor Tom Apple, gone from his post.