Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors hire Timmy Chang as next head football coach

Flashback: Timmy Chang's 5 TDs power 2004 Hawai'i Bowl victory (1:08)

Timmy Chang throws four touchdowns and rushes for another as Hawai'i defeats UAB to win the 2004 Hawai'i Bowl. (1:08)

The University of Hawai'i is turning to one of its own for its next head football coach. The school announced on Saturday night that former star quarterback Timmy Chang is returning to be the Rainbow Warriors' coach.

Chang, 40, was previously the wide receivers coach at Colorado State. But at Hawai'i, he is remembered as the quarterback who rewrote the NCAA record book while in school and helped usher in a pass-happy era of college football.

"I'm back. I'm home. In my heart, I've never left," Chang said in a statement. "Like I've always done, I'm ready to give my all for Hawai'i. The highest privilege in coaching is the right to represent an institution as a head coach. This is beyond indescribable. I get to do it here in Hawai'i, where I am from. I am so proud to represent MY school and state. I'm honored to lead the BRADDAHHOOD."

Chang arrives at a fraught time for the Rainbow Warriors, as former coach Todd Graham resigned earlier this month in the wake of allegations that he mistreated players.

Chang not only starred at Hawai'i, but he also is from Oahu, and he played high school ball at the Saint Louis School in Honolulu, paving the way for star quarterbacks in the state such as Marcus Mariota and Tua Tagovailoa.

Chang worked as a position coach at Nevada from 2017 to 2021, before going to Colorado State with former Wolf Pack head coach Jay Norvell. Chang also was the offensive coordinator at Emory & Henry and Jackson State and served as a graduate assistant at SMU.

"I am excited to welcome back legendary quarterback Timmy Chang to Manoa," Hawai'i athletic director David Matlin said in a statement. "Timmy made a name for himself throwing the football as a young quarterback and has continued his legacy in the collegiate coaching ranks over the past decade. The time has come for him to take over the program that developed him into the coach, father, husband and leader he is today."

On Friday, Hawai'i offered the job to former coach June Jones, whom Chang played for with the Rainbow Warriors. But Jones turned the job down because he was initially offered only a two-year contract, and he later said that the school wouldn't give him full autonomy over hiring assistants.

In the strategy to hire Jones, sources told ESPN that a plan was needed to be in place to have Chang as Jones' successor. The school made public comments on Saturday critical of Jones' handling of the process and pivoted to hiring Chang as the head coach.

Chang ranks No. 2 on the NCAA's career passing list with 17,072 yards, trailing only Houston's Case Keenum.