Jan. 21, 2008
Norm Chow, who is considered one of the top offensive coaches in football history, has been named offensive coordinator at UCLA, Bruin head football coach Rick Neuheisel announced today.
"Norm brings great offensive expertise to the job," said Neuheisel. "He has enjoyed tremendous success throughout his career and has been the architect of some of the most explosive offenses in college football history. We are thrilled that Norm has decided to become a Bruin. What youngster who plays offense in high school wouldn't be excited about playing for a school with Norm Chow as its offensive coordinator?"
Chow comes to UCLA from the NFL's Tennessee Titans, where he has served as offensive coordinator for the past three years. He is credited with helping Vince Young's transition from college to pro football. This past season, the Titans earned a spot in the NFL playoffs and finished the regular season with a record of 10-6.
In 2006, Young, a rookie, took over the offense during the fourth week of the season. He led the team to an 8-5 record, earned Rookie of the Year honors (only the second quarterback to win AP Offensive Rookie of the Year) and became the first rookie quarterback to play in the Pro Bowl.
Young earned all of the headlines, but it was the running game that drove the offense as the Titans finished fifth in the league in rushing, amassing the sixth highest rushing total in franchise history (2,214 yards) and the highest yards per carry in franchise history (4.7).
In 2005, Chow adapted to the pro game with ease despite an offense that relied on a youthful cast of players and encountered numerous injuries. Tennessee ranked ninth in the NFL in passing and overall the offense ranked 17th. The group of rookie receivers (WR Brandon Jones, WR Roydell Williams, WR Courtney Roby and TE Bo Scaife) became the first quartet of rookie receivers since the 1968 Buffalo Bills to each record at least 20 receptions in a season. Scaife would also establish a new rookie tight end franchise mark for receptions with 37.
Before joining the Titans, Chow spent 32 productive years coaching at the collegiate level, tasting every form of success at that level, including three national titles (BYU, 1984; USC 2003, 2004), tutoring three Heisman Trophy winners, 27 bowl games, and three times being named assistant coach of the year. He left an indelible mark on the college game as he worked with eight of the NCAA's top 30 career passing efficiency leaders.
In his college coaching career, Chow groomed three Heisman Trophy winners (Ty Detmer, Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart), six first round picks (Palmer, Leinart, Philip Rivers, Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Marc Wilson) and one Pro Football Hall of Fame member (Young).
Chow, 61, joined the Titans on February 9, 2005, after spending four seasons as offensive coordinator at the University of Southern California. At the helm of USC's offense, Chow directed an attack that ranked in the nation's top 20 in total offense in each of his final three seasons, tutored two Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks (Palmer in 2002 and Leinart in 2004) and won two national titles. The Trojans were 42-9 during his four seasons, 36-3 in the final three.
In his final season at USC, the Trojans ranked sixth nationally in scoring offense (38.2), seventh in passing efficiency and 12th in total offense (449.1) and 13th in passing offense (271.7). Quarterback Matt Leinart was the Heisman Trophy winner, Walter Camp Player of the Year, repeated as a first team All-American and was the Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
In 2003, Leinart set Pac-10 season records for touchdown passes (38) and consecutive passes without an interception (212). He also had the highest passing efficiency rating (164.5) of any USC quarterback in history. USC was fifth nationally in passing efficiency and scoring offense, 13th in passing offense (291.6) and 14th in total offense (447.5). The Trojans set Pac-10 season records with 534 points and by scoring 40-plus points in seven consecutive games.
In 2002, quarterback Carson Palmer won the Heisman Trophy and Unitas Award en route to becoming the NFL's number one overall selection and the Pac-10's career leader in passing yards and total offense, while USC led the Pac-10 in total offense and scoring offense. Nationally, the Trojans ranked sixth in passing efficiency, eighth in passing offense (306.8) and total offense (449.2) and ninth in scoring offense (35.8).
Chow spent the 2000 season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at North Carolina State. The Wolfpack passing offense was ranked 15th nationally (292.6). His quarterback, Philip Rivers, was a Freshman All-American who completed 53.7% (237 of 441) of his passes for 3,054 yards with 25 touchdowns and was 12th nationally in total offense (269.9). Rivers is now the starting quarterback for the San Diego Chargers.
Prior to joining the N.C. State, Chow spent 27 years (1973-99) at BYU. At various times, he was the Cougars' assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, co-offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, receivers coach, recruiting coordinator and graduate assistant (1973 and 1974). The Cougars posted a 244-91-3 record during his time in Provo, appeared in 22 bowls and saw 21 offensive players earn All-America honors. In 12 of his 18 years as offensive coordinator at BYU, Chow led the offense to a place in the NCAA's top 10 in total offense. Chow was with coach LaVell Edwards at for all but two (1972 & 2000) of his 29 years at BYU.
Chow began his coaching career as the head coach at Waialua (Hi.) High, serving for three seasons (1970-72) before leaving for BYU.
He was a two-year starter and three-year letterman at guard for Utah (1965-67). In 1967, he earned All-Western Athletic Conference first team and All-American honorable mention honors. He was selected to Utah's All-Century Team.
In his years of coaching, Chow has garnered numerous accolades, including: the Broyles Award (2002) as the nation's top assistant coach, National Assistant Coach of the year (1999) by the American Football Foundation and Athlon (1993), and the NCAA Division 1-A Offensive Coordinator of the Year (1996 & 2002) by American Football Monthly. In 2006, FOX's Terry Bradshaw named Chow the NFL's Top Assistant Coach. Additionally, Chow served as the grand marshal of the 2004 Golden Dragon Parade celebrating the Chinese New Year in Los Angeles' Chinatown in 2004.
A native of Honolulu, Hi. (5/3/46), Chow and his wife, Diane, have three grown sons - Carter, Cameron and Chandler and one grown daughter, Maile.