Can’t blame them for leaving

Another University of Hawaii football assistant coach, Chris Demarest, is leaving. A source at UH told me it’s official as of today and our football writer Stephen Tsai confirmed it.

Now, Demarest wasn’t the most low-maintenance employee. But he was a very good special teams coordinator. It has been consistently the best phase of the three for the Rainbow Warriors over the past three years under head coach Norm Chow. That might not seem like much for a team that has gone 8-29, but the kicking game is not the reason for that losing record.

He’s the third assistant to leave UH in recent weeks, following defensive coordinator Kevin Clune and associate head coach/secondary coach Darante’ Jones. These are the most experienced members of the staff, making it more alarming.

Demarest, from what I’m told, isn’t even leaving with another job waiting for him right now.

Two other remaining assistant coaches also may be leaving, I’ve been told.

Can’t say I blame anyone for digging out, considering the entire staff could very well be out of work after next season.

This mass exodus makes the decision to not buy out Chow after a third losing season in a row look even worse.

In another late-breaking development, I’m told UH could be very close to announcing Clune’s replacement.


  1. Hawkpeter February 4, 2015 4:59 pm

    Some UH fans are due a rebate on their praise of the new regime when it arrived.

  2. Shoko February 4, 2015 5:05 pm

    I don’t think its so alarming that Clune or Jones left UH.

    Clune left for a program where his career started taking off and probably a place he a deep loyalty towards. In Jones case, he now has an opportunity to coach at the highest level of football and possibly become more than just a position coach in the future.

    I can understand if both left for lower-paying, dead-end positions that can only be considered a step down in terms of career progression. But this is a occupational hazard for any head coach of a mid-major program that doesn’t have enormous staff budgets like other big schools to retain assistants.

    Frankly speaking, I think even if Chow went to a bowl game last season or had a winning record, an opportunity like Utah State and the NFL would be hard to turn down for both of them.

  3. Shoko February 4, 2015 5:06 pm

    Oh, howzit Dave!

  4. Maddog50 February 4, 2015 5:39 pm

    Just for the record excluding Norm Chow there are currently six coaches on the staff minus the three. That being said “two remaining assistants” is inaccurate.

  5. Dave Reardon February 4, 2015 5:39 pm

    Howzit! Yes, they left for good jobs. But would you agree that having just one assistant remaining from the original staff three years ago is not a good thing? Lack of continuity makes it hard for the players.

  6. Dave Reardon February 4, 2015 5:41 pm

    Maddog. No, what I wrote is not inaccurate. You didn’t understand the sentence; read it again: “Two other remaining assistant coaches also may be leaving, I’ve been told.” … That sentence doesn’t mean only two assistants remain.

  7. Warbow February 4, 2015 5:42 pm

    Do tell on the other two. Something tells me we would have better off keeping McMackin and his crew.

  8. Maddog50 February 4, 2015 5:58 pm

    It’s been a long day I stand corrected

  9. Warbow February 4, 2015 6:07 pm

    7….no worries, I read it the same way and thought it was the 2 remaining defensive coaches.

  10. Aformerolb February 4, 2015 6:25 pm

    Dave, who are those 2 coaches supposedly thinking of leaving??? And why are they leaving??? Wouldn’t it be wise for to buyout chow now?

  11. Aformerolb February 4, 2015 6:45 pm

    And most thought Mcmackin was so bad. Be careful what you wish for because look at what Hawaii has now in their hands. Norm Chow.

  12. Hapaguy February 4, 2015 6:46 pm

    Maddog50 – I read it the same way….Dave: why use the word “remaining”?
    “Two other assistant coaches may also be leaving” would have been less confusing…

  13. Rodney February 4, 2015 7:02 pm

    I would not be surprised if one of asst
    leaves with us an new OC?

  14. Manoa Mist February 4, 2015 7:15 pm

    Chow should have been let go last season. Recruiting ranked 127 of 129 schools.

  15. hatakeman February 4, 2015 7:48 pm

    This situation at UH is unprecedented. Unbelievable. And you wouldn’t know it listening to Chow on the Animals radio show. Sounded like this is normal and we make adjustments. He did say “we’re a little thin at D-Line.” Phew. He almost sounded delusional, not acknowledging reality. A total of 16 recruits. That means we’re nine short if my math is correct. Okay, one slot for Aaron Zwahlen and maybe another for Cameron Hayes. Still seven short of max. Hey, Scout ranked Hawaii’s recruiting at #127 out of 129. And will we have a defensive coaching staff next week? A full staff for spring ball? It’s just plain crazy.

  16. locomoco February 4, 2015 8:40 pm

    We already tapped grad assistants to be a coordinator and position coach. Too bad Harding’s gone … he would have been named player-coach for special teams.

  17. st. anthony trojan February 4, 2015 9:15 pm

    Yea…if they only listened to Mr. Donovan….no more this mess up there…

  18. kev-1 February 4, 2015 10:39 pm

    Listening to Chow on the radio today just affirmed what I have been thinking lately regarding coaching departures. Chow has no idea what he is doing as a HC, the game has passed him by, and people around him are recognizing it.

    For crying out loud, he said on the radio that the coaches leaving is good because it says something good about the program. HE IS DELUSIONAL if he thinks that people are scooping up UH coaches because the UH football program is doing so well.

  19. kev-1 February 4, 2015 10:41 pm

    btw . . . two of the remaining cards in my hand are jacks. That doesn’t mean I only have two cards left. Don’t be so anal. The sentence structure is fine.

  20. Not an Expert February 4, 2015 10:45 pm

    Coach Chow and the AD why not agree to a settlement and leave. It be best for the program. Stop thinking you guy are the answer it is not so please move on.

  21. David J. February 4, 2015 10:50 pm

    Danm everything is going bad for University of Hawaii football! . Why just take away football program!

  22. Not an Expert February 4, 2015 10:50 pm

    Breaking new! UH football head coach and AD resigning immediately with an agreed settlement. Flash emergency hire June Jones and he will be given the right to hire an emergency coaching staff to help put the program back on a winning track. Just dreaming.

  23. hitman February 4, 2015 11:47 pm

    just when you think they hit bottom they still find room to get lower !! REALLY LOOKS like chow is trying to kill the football program know !! hope uh learn by this you never bring back a guy for one year !! you lose kids that was coming, fans and coaches !! but most of all if any of the high up would be true blue UH FOOTBALL fans you never hire a guy that was a true BYU coach !!

  24. Casual Observer February 4, 2015 11:49 pm

    Didn’t hear the entire context of what Coach Chow said about the two coaches leaving but from what I know: Clune returned to Utah State as the DC. He was Hawaii’s DC but before that he was the linebacker’s coach at USU for many years. Most likely he got a payraise. Daronte Jones left for Wisconsin for the same position but got a $100K raise. In both cases, the coaches bettered their situation so it shouldn’t be viewed negatively on Chow that these coaches were in demand even in a losing program. Of course it doesn’t help recruiting or program building.

  25. Palolo February 5, 2015 1:36 am

    The Sky is Falling!! The Sky is Falling!!

    I would hate to think what would happen if Chow manages to go 8-5 this season. That would REALLY piss off a lot of people here.

  26. sofaking_blk February 5, 2015 6:00 am

    The decision not to buy out Chow after the 2013 season is really killing this program now. IMHO this is far worse than the Von Appen Era because we have yet another year of Chowball.

  27. Mr Pacheco February 5, 2015 6:07 am


  28. Mr Pacheco February 5, 2015 6:09 am

    Yup, looks like no more fan support for Chow and UH. Time to turn our attention back to high school football. How about Turkey Day games again?

  29. kryon February 5, 2015 7:01 am

    It does say a lot that other schools r interested in our coaches. They wouldn’t have interest if they were not seeing something good from their work. Seriously if they were so bad would u pay them 100000 more to go to ur program? No way. So something is being seen as good in our program. I don’t understand how DR can keep pushing for chows head? Man, b positive n support til the end. If the end comes, it comes. In the mean time support the program n show we better then negative call outs. Future kids read n c ur words n Im sure it doesn’t help. Ur voice is louder then most so use it to grow the program. Use it to promote a positive state. Use it to show that even in down times we Hawaiians stand untied n strong, positive all the time. Tired of the negative whining. That’s not Hawaii.

  30. Shoko February 5, 2015 7:46 am

    5. Yes, one assistant left on Chow’s original staff is never good and makes it difficult to maintain continuity for a program. However, I wouldn’t compare Clune and Jones departure with the other coaches that left. They left under different circumstances (i.e. retirement, termination, or one-year contracts not being renewed) if I remember correctly.

    What I do find interesting is Chow’s struggles in assembling an experienced staff, especially on offense. With the exception of Chow and Wayne Moses, there really isn’t much Division I coaching experience on that side of the ball. And with Chow’s job status in question after this season, I would guess the list of candidates to fill the vacancies left by Clune and Jones might be on the short side. We’ll see…

  31. Whats up February 5, 2015 8:02 am

    It obvious to see why they are leaving, just as when rats/mice jump off a sinking ship. After 3 dismal seasons and next season schedule is full of almost certain losses and body bag games. It’s almost predetermined that Chow and most of the coaches will not back for the 2016 season. I wouldn’t mind seeing June Jones back as Head Coach, I wouldn’t mind seeing Dino Babers as head coach either.

  32. sofaking_blk February 5, 2015 8:55 am

    You can forget about Babers, that ship has sailed and besides we can’t afford him now. But there are some good up-in-coming coaches out there. One in particular, Beau Baldwin, E.Washington

  33. Mr Pacheco February 5, 2015 11:16 am

    Agree with Kryon. DR’s job is to sell papers. He reminds me of another former sports writer:

  34. kev-1 February 5, 2015 11:18 am

    #26 . . . I would argue that landing a coaching job weighs heavily on connections. You cannot be serious and think that other schools are thinking that they want what UH is putting out. Does that mean that the coaches that are leaving aren’t good coaches? Of course not. The ones that left have been good. The point I am making is that Chow actually sees it a reflection of the job that his program is doing. That’s not the case.

  35. bigislandkurt February 5, 2015 11:37 am

    It was painful listening to Chow on the Animals yesterday.

  36. hatakeman February 5, 2015 2:59 pm

    It’s the timing of their departure that doesn’t sit well.

  37. oldyobo February 5, 2015 8:49 pm

    Wow, people are actually waking up to the FACT Chow is destroying, if he hasn’t already done so, UH athletics (not just football), all with the blessings of the other clueless one, BJ.

  38. Jiujitsu_Fighter February 6, 2015 10:04 am

    Dave, Are there rumors they’re leaving because UH will rehire June Jones next year? And they won’t be retained on the coaching staff?

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