UH Roundup: Rolovich to Nevada, DB from Florida Latest Addition
By Rodney S. Yap
The next time former University of Hawai’i offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich comes to Hawaii he will line up on the opposite sidelines for the University of Nevada, where he accepted a dual position as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Wednesday.
The Wolf Pack, like Hawaii and Fresno State, are leaving the Western Athletic Conference and joining the Mountain West Conference this summer.
The former Warriors quarterback (2000-01) was Hawaii’s quarterbacks coach for four seasons and spent the last two as offensive coordinator (2010-11) under former head coach Greg McMackin.
After not being retained at UH when Norm Chow was hired in mid-December, Rolovich was reportedly going to take over the offense at UMass. According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Rolovich began working at Massachusetts as the offensive coordinator, but as a “volunteer” coach. He reportedly is still under contract with UH through March 31.
Rolovich’s deal with Nevada is reportedly for two years. Hawaii assistants were limited to one-year contracts.
While Nevada is annually among the nation’s leaders in rushing as a result of its “pistol” attack, Rolovich plans to incorporate elements of the “run-and-shoot” he learned while serving as signal-caller under former Hawaii head coach June Jones.
Under Rolovich’s direction last season, Hawaii passed for an average of 394 yards per game to lead the nation and ranked sixth in the country in total offense.
Prior to coaching at Hawaii, Rolovich spent time as quarterbacks coach at the City College of San Francisco, helping guide the Rams to the national championship in 2007.
As a player, Rolovich quarterbacked the City College of San Francisco to a national championship in 1999 before finishing his college career at Hawaii. He played professionally in NFL Europe for the Rhein Fire and played in the Arena Football League for the San Jose SaberCats, Chicago Rush, Arizona Rattlers and Las Vegas Gladiators.
In football, head football coach Norm Chow added another signee to his inaugural signing class with the addition of defensive back Marrell Jackson of Miramar High School in Florida.
Jackson, a 6-foot, 180-pound safety, led the state of Florida and ranked in the Top 10 nationally with 12 interceptions as a senior. He was an honorable mention SI.com High School All-American and named to the Class 8A all-state second team. He helped Miramar, who was ranked as high as No. 3 nationally by USA Today, to the state championship game. Jackson recorded two interceptions each in wins against Blanche Ely and Boyd Anderson.
With the latest announcement, the 2012 signing class includes 23 recruits as the school officially received signed documents from Quenton Brown of Liburn, Ga., and Ne’Quan Phillips of Miami, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Brown is a 6-foot-3 all-conference end from Eastern Arizona Junior College and Phillips is a All-Dade first-team cornerback from Southridge High School in Miami. He also spent some time at running back on offense.
In softball, Hawaii opens its 2012 season with the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic, starting today and runs through Saturday at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium. The participating visiting teams are Seattle, Missouri-Kansas City and DePaul.
Bob Coolen enters his 21st season as the Rainbow Wahine head coach. Hawaii is coming off a 37-18 overall record, which included a 14-7 mark in the Western Athletic Conference. Two-time WAC Pitcher of the Year Stephanie Ricketts and two-time WAC Player of the Year Jessica Iwata are the Bows top returning players.
Ricketts, a senior pitcher from San Jose,Calif., was the cornerstone of the team all last season. Ricketts, who earned Easton All-American honors in 2011 after posting a 22-11 record, had her best statistical season as a Rainbow Wahine last year. She posted single-season bests in ERA (1.58), complete games (30), shut-outs (9), and strike outs (250) while holding opponents to a .193 batting average.
Iwata was recently named to the Top 50 Watch List for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. The shortstop from Kaua’i was also tabbed a pre-season all-WAC candidate. Iwata led the Rainbow Wahine in 2011 with a .355 batting average (60-for-169), a .663 slugging percentage, and a .447 on-base percentage.