John Byrne/Nevada Athletics Nevada offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich yells instructions from the sideline during the 2015 season

John Byrne/Nevada Athletics
Nevada offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich yells instructions from the sideline during the 2015 season

By Jack Rieger

Nevada’s offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich was named the new head coach of Hawaii on Friday, Nov. 27.

Rolovich was the starting quarterback for Hawaii from 2000-01, and then joined their coaching staff from 2008-11. Rolovich began his coaching stint as the quarterbacks coach, but quickly was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2010. In Rolovich’s first year as offensive coordinator, the Hawaii offense improved from 90th to 10th in the country in points per game.

Under Chris Ault in 2012, Nevada hired Rolovich as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and he was one of the three assistant coaches retained by Brian Polian following Ault’s retirement. Rolovich coached quarterback Cody Farjardo for his first three seasons, who accumulated over 9,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing, something only accomplished by one other college player: Colin Kaepernick. Fajardo tweeted his appreciation for Rolovich on Friday night.

“Extremely happy for Nick Rolovich, Hands down my favorite coach of all time. I’m looking forward to seeing his success as a head coach,” tweeted Fajardo.

Hawaii’s athletic director David Matlin also expressed his excitement regarding Rolovich’s hiring.

“I’m pleased to welcome back Nick Rolovich to the UH ‘ohana,” Matlin said in a statement posted on the team’s website. “Nick is a Warrior at heart and someone I know our fans will support. He understands what it means to be a Warrior having played and coached here and what effect a winning program has with this community. I have no doubt we picked the right man for this job. The future is bright for Hawaii football.”

Rolovich is tasked with rebuilding a program that won just three games this season and went 0-8 in conference. The Rainbow Warriors haven’t had a winning season since Rolovich was their offensive coordinator in 2011, and they averaged just 17.6 points per game this season. Rolovich will have an immediate impact on their offense, which was the team’s calling card five years ago. Rolovich conveyed his excitement for his return to Hawaii.

“Being raised a Warrior, there is a great sense of excitement and responsibility about bringing back a winning tradition to Hawai‘i football,” Rolovich said in a news release. “I can’t wait to get started. I’m honored to be selected to run this program which has made me into the man I am today.”

Coach Polian also expressed his appreciation for Rolovich on Friday.

“We were thrilled to learn today that Nick Rolovich has been named head football coach at the University of Hawai`I,” Polian said in a news release. […] ”Both Nick and UH have been transparent throughout the whole process and I appreciated that very much. I am confident that his candidacy did not affect our preparation for SDSU. We will handle any decisions regarding the staff internally and make those decisions known when the time is appropriate.”

Rolovich’s last game for Nevada was a 14-31 loss to San Diego State on Saturday, as he will not coach for Nevada’s bowl game. Nevada has yet to name its play-caller for the bowl game, or the offensive coordinator for next season.

Jack Rieger can be reached at and on Twitter @JackRieger.