Utah football: Utes making a play for Chow
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham apparently was unhappy enough with Utah's offense in the last half of the season to do something about it.
Whittingham, whose team lost three of its last five games including the Las Vegas Bowl, is in discussions with UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow to join the Utes.
The Utes are also expected to hire former Minnesota offensive line coach Tim Davis.
The staff changes have not been finalized and no official announcement was made by the university on Wednesday.
It's unknown how the hirings would affect Aaron Roderick and Dave Schramm, who served as co-offensive coordinators in 2010. Roderick, who was promoted to co-offensive coordinator for the 2010 season, called the plays from the booth.
Utah's offense averaged 45 points in the first eight games and just 11 points in the final five games. Neither Roderick nor Schramm returned messages Wednesday.
If Utah completes the hirings of Chow and Davis, the move to Utah would be a homecoming for both of them.
Chow, one of the most celebrated coordinators in college football, was a two-year starter for the Utes as a guard (1965-67) and earned All-WAC first-team and All-America honorable mention honors in 1967.
Davis, a three-year letter-winner for the Utes as an offensive tackle from 1978-80, was among the Minnesota assistants let go in December when Jerry Kill was hired to replace Tim Brewster, who was fired as the Gophers' head coach on Oct. 17.
Chow is best known for his influence at BYU where he spent 27 years holding various positions, including assistant coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
During his time with the Cougars, BYU went 244-91-3 and played in 22 bowl games. BYU's offense was ranked in the top 10 in total offense in 12 of his 18 years as offensive coordinator.
However, his offense hasn't always been as successful elsewhere.
Chow spent the last three years as UCLA's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. His offense came under fire following the Bruins' 4-8 record in 2010. The Bruins averaged just 20.2 points a game and ranked 116th in passing yards (141.1) and 32nd in rushing yards (175.6).
UCLA ranked No. 94 in 2009, averaging 22 points, and No. 110 in 2008, averaging just 17.8 points.
He was hired by the Bruins after a three-year stint with the NFL's Tennessee Titans, where he was the offensive coordinator until he was fired in January 2008.
He had better luck at USC with the Trojans, ranking in the top 20 in total offense in his final three seasons and winning the national title in 2003 and 2004.
Chow agreed to a two-year contract extension with UCLA worth about $1 million in July, but it wasn't approved until November, according to media reports.
Davis was hired as Minnesota's running game coordinator/offensive line coach in 2008 after serving as Alabama's Director of Player Personnel in 2008 and as the assistant offensive line coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2005-06. He coached with Chow at USC in 2002 as the guards and centers coach and in 2003-04 as the offensive line coach.
Norm Chow coaching experience
2008-2010 • UCLA offensive coordinator
2005-2007 • Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator
2001-2004 • USC offensive coordinator
2000 • North Carolina State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
1990-99 • BYU assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
1982-89 • BYU co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach
1975-81 • BYU receivers coach/recruiting coordinator
1973-74 • BYU graduate assistant