Count Hawaii defensive line coach Lewis Powell among those who’ve fully bought into the Rainbow Warriors’ new 3-4 base defensive scheme.
Seniors Beau Yap, Moses Samia and Marcus Malepeai and sophomore Kennedy Tulimasealii effectively comprise the four “starters” among three positions on the revamped D-line.
UH went from the base 4-3 of Norm Chow’s first two years to a 3-4 in the spring with the arrival of new defensive coordinator Kevin Clune.
“I think we’re making that transition pretty good,” said Powell, who began at UH when Chow arrived after the 2011 season. “We have the right personnel that matches the 3-4, and Kennedy’s a big part of it. I think the transition’s going very well and I think it’s a better match for us than what we were doing before.
“Right now (at practice) it’s strictly about the scheme we’re putting in.”
Powell, an East Palo Alto, Calif., native, wrapped up his playing career at Utah in 2004. From there he played in the AFL until 2008, then latched on at Utah as a graduate assistant to begin his coaching career.
Tulimasealii, from Waianae High, has worked with Powell for two seasons in Manoa and attended some football camps Powell worked prior to Tuimasealii’s arrival at UH.
“He’s a hard-working guy,” Tuimasealii said. “He makes us work hard, hard, hard. Everything we do first, is hard drills and running. Then pretty much relax — that’s if we do our right thing. … So, I like his coaching style. It’s pretty laid back. Not laid back, but like, you do your thing and if you get what you needed, you’re rewarded.”
In any case, Powell’s soft-spoken demeanor makes for quite a contrast to megaphone-wielding special teams coach Chris “Demo” Demarest.