Norm Chow

Norm Chow
Norm Chow
Chow at a 2008 game
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Offensive coordinator
Team Utah
Conference Pac-12
Biographical details
Born May 3, 1946 (1946-05-03) (age 65)
Place of birth Honolulu, HI
Playing career
1965–1967 Utah
Position(s) Guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
BYU (freshmen)
NC State (OC)
Tennessee Titans (OC)
Utah (OC)
Accomplishments and honors
2002 Broyles Award

Norman Chow (Chinese: ; pinyin: Zhōu Yǒuxián, born May 3, 1946(1946-05-03) in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi) is the current offensive coordinator for the Utah Utes, a position he started on January 22, 2011.[1] Previously, he was the offensive coordinator for UCLA, the NFL's Tennessee Titans, USC, North Carolina State, and Brigham Young University.[2]

Chow won the 2002 Broyles Award as the nation's top collegiate assistant coach. He also was named the 2002 NCAA Division I-A Offensive Coordinator of the Year by American Football Monthly and was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year in 1999 by the American Football Foundation. He is known for developing quarterbacks such as Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Ty Detmer, Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, and Matt Leinart.[3]


Education and playing career

Chow, a native of Honolulu, and an alumnus of Punahou School, played college football for the University of Utah. Chow was a 2-year starter and a 3-year letterman offensive guard for the Utes. In his senior season, Chow was named to the All-WAC first team and gained All-America honorable mention honors. He then played briefly in the Canadian Football League, for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, before an injury ended his professional athletic career. He was selected to Utah's All-Century Team.[citation needed]

He received his master's degree in special education from Utah and a doctorate in educational psychology, Ed.D., from Brigham Young University in 1978.[4]

Coaching career

Chow began his coaching career in Hawaii, where he was born, at Waialua High and Intermediate School. He was the head coach there from 1970 to 1972. In 1973 he left for BYU to be a Graduate Assistant, a position he held for two seasons.[5] He was promoted to receivers coach in 1976, a post he would hold until 1982 (apart from a one-year stint as running backs coach).[6]

In 1982, head coach LaVell Edwards named Chow as principal offensive play-caller.[7] He continued to call all the offensive plays until he left the program after the 1999 season. In 1984 BYU won the consensus national championship. He became quarterbacks coach in 1986, and was officially given the title of offensive coordinator in 1996.[8] During his 27 years with BYU, they had a record of 244–91–3.[6]

Chow spent one season as the offensive coordinator at NC State, where he coached an offense quarterbacked by Philip Rivers, before accepting the position of offensive coordinator at USC. Chow helped lead the Trojans to the 2003 Associated Press National Championship, (their first national title since 1978), and the 2004 BCS National Championship. He left USC in spring 2005, after unsuccessfully interviewing for the Stanford head coaching vacancy, for a job offer to be the offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans--his first job on the professional level. Their head coach, Jeff Fisher, graduated from USC.

Chow was the Titans' offensive coordinator from 2005 to 2007. During this time, the Titans had non-losing seasons in 2006 (8-8) and 2007 (10-6), and appeared in the 2007 AFC Playoffs. In 2007, the Titans were 21st overall in total offense, with a total of nine touchdown passes.[9]

On January 15, 2008, after being fired by the Titans following the 2007 season, Chow was hired by new UCLA Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel as offensive coordinator.[2] When Lane Kiffin took over as head coach of the USC Trojans in early 2010, he attempted to hire Chow away from UCLA, but Chow elected to stay after being assured he would receive a contract extension. However, the Bruin's 2010 season proved to be an offensive disappointment: UCLA finishing ranked 116th out of 120 teams nationally in passing yardage and 118th in passing efficiency, as they tried to install a pistol offense; in his three seasons, the team had a 15-22 record. On January 22, 2011, Chow departed UCLA after negotiating a buyout to the contract extension that would have paid him $1 million over the next two seasons rather than remain at UCLA and be demoted to a lesser coaching position.[10] While Chow made his reputation by developing quarterbacks, Ramona Shelburne of said he never really had one to develop at UCLA due to injuries to their quarterbacks. Chow never publicly made excuses.[11]

Chow was immediately hired as the offensive coordinator of the Utah Utes, a team that was getting ready to enter its first season in the Pac-12.[10] "Rick [Neuheisel] did a nice job with [facilitating his exit at UCLA]. And [Utah] is a good football situation," said Chow. "I went to school there, you know? I have two degrees from there. I met my wife there, my kids were born in Salt Lake. Not many people can say they get to go full circle like that."[11]

During his time as an assistant football coach, Chow has helped coach 8 of the top 14 career passing-efficiency leaders and 13 quarterbacks who rank among the top 30 in NCAA history for single-season passing yardage. The list of players he coached includes Jim McMahon, Steve Young, and Philip Rivers, as well as Heisman Trophy winners Ty Detmer, Carson Palmer, and Matt Leinart.[3]

Head coaching interest

In addition to Stanford, Chow has officially interviewed for the head coaching jobs of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals; and, the NCAA's North Carolina State University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Hawaii.

Chow was a candidate to replace Karl Dorrell at UCLA, but withdrew his candidacy soon after interviewing.[12][13] Chow was also considered to replace June Jones at the University of Hawaii.[14]


Chow is of Chinese and native Hawaiian descent.[15] He and his wife, Diane, have been married for forty years and they have four children: Carter, Maile, Cameron and Chandler. Carter serves as his father's agent.[9] One of his sons graduated from the University of Southern California and another is still a student there.[16]

Awards and honors

In 2002 Norm Chow won the Broyles Award for being the top assistant coach in college football.[17] In 2004, Chow served as Grand Marshal of the annual Chinese New Year Golden Dragon Parade in Chinatown, Los Angeles.[18] On May 3, 2009, Chow was honored by the Los Angeles Chinese Historical Society of Southern California in "Celebrating Chinese Americans in Sports".[19]

See also


  1. ^ "Utes Hire Norm Chow as Offensive Coordinator". University of Utah Athletics. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  2. ^ a b Chris Foster, UCLA hires Norm Chow as offensive coordinator, Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Reardon, Dave (May 3, 2006). "Tennessee's Hawaiians thrill Chow". Honolulu Star Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  4. ^ Wen, Grace (September 12, 2003), "USC’s Chow still calls Hawaii home", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 
  5. ^ Dirk Facer (January 23, 2011). "Utah Utes football: Chow named Utes' offensive coordinator". Deseret News. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  6. ^ a b "Player bio: Norm Chow". University of Utah Athletic Department. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  7. ^ Lee Benson (September 7–8, 1982). "New Gambler in Town". Deseret News. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  8. ^ "BYU Football Coaches". CougarStats. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  9. ^ a b Klein, Gary; Foster, Chris (January 16, 2008), "Chow on UCLA's radar after his firing by Titans", Los Angeles Times,,1,5642049.story 
  10. ^ a b Chris Foster, UCLA fires Norm Chow, hires Mike Johnson, Los Angeles Times, January 22, 2011, Accessed January 23, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Shelburne, Ramona (January 22, 2010). "Norm Chow exits gracefully". Archived from the original on January 30, 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2010. "Chow made his reputation by developing quarterbacks. At UCLA he never really had one to develop." 
  12. ^ "Arizona taps Steelers' assistant as head coach", Honolulu Advertiser, January 15, 2007, 
  13. ^ "Bruins have Oregon's Bellotti in their sights", Los Angeles Times,,1,7855051.story [dead link]
  14. ^ "Possible loss of Jones brings dire forecasts", Honolulu Advertiser, [dead link]
  15. ^
  16. ^ "UCLA hires Chow as coordinator, Former USC coach takes job with crosstown rival", Sports Illustrated, January 21, 2008, [dead link]
  17. ^ "Finalists Broyles Award: Norm Chow". Broyles Award. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  18. ^ Golden Dragon Parade
  19. ^ CHSSC News and Notes April 2009
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Hue Jackson
USC Trojans Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Lane Kiffin
Preceded by
Mike Heimerdinger
Tennessee Titans Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Mike Heimerdinger
Preceded by
Jay Norvell
UCLA Bruins Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Mike Johnson
Preceded by
Dave Schramm & Aaron Roderick
Utah Utes Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by

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