SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Norm Chow is returning to his alma mater as Utah’s offensive coordinator. The 64-year-old Chow was hired Saturday after spending the past three years in the same role at UCLA. He left after a 4-8 season, but the move comes as Utah is about to join the new Pac-12 Conference in 2011. UCLA will play at Utah on Nov. 12. “I am awfully excited to be going back to my alma mater,” Chow said. “The University of Utah is where I started my career. I met my wife there. How many people get to go back to their alma mater? This is an exciting day for me.” Chow, a BYU assistant for 27 years, may be best known for helping develop star quarterbacks Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Ty Detmer, Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. Detmer, Palmer and Leinart won Heisman Trophies under his tutelage. “Adding Norm Chow to our offensive staff was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “Norm is widely considered one of the top offensive coordinators in the country and his experience at both USC and UCLA will aid us in our transition into the Pac-12 conference. I have a long-standing relationship with Norm and have a tremendous amount of respect for him and what he has accomplished over the course of his career. His hiring will obviously mean some restructuring within our offensive staff and those details will be announced when they are finalized.” Dave Schramm and Aaron Roderick served as co-coordinators this past season. Schramm, also tight ends coach, and Roderick, also wide receivers coach, remain on the staff. Chow was with BYU when the Cougars when they won their only national championship in 1984, and was coordinator at Southern California when the Trojans won national titles in 2003 and 2004. He left USC in 2005 to be offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans, but was fired after three seasons. Rick Neuheisel brought Chow to UCLA in 2007. Earlier Saturday, former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson replaced Chow on Neuheisel’s staff. “Norm is a fine man and an outstanding coach and I have enjoyed working with him,” Neuheisel said. “He will do a great job at Utah. I thank him for his contributions to our program and wish Norm and his family well.” Speculation that Chow might be headed to Utah surfaced weeks ago. He is a longtime friend of Whittingham’s from their days as BYU assistants. But Chow’s UCLA contract complicated matters. Chow received a two-year extension worth $1 million in July. Details about his contract were not released. The announcement follows a move this month in which former Utes offensive tackle Tim Davis was hired to coach Utah’s offensive line.
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