HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Just two hours are being officially introduced as the new head football coach for the University of Hawaii, Norm Chow was welcomed at Washington Place by the governor and some high-powered football boosters who wanted to meet him.
One of those attending told us it was the largest such gathering for a new football coach at the governor's mansion.
"I think the air is filled with optimism, because everybody understands that as a true son of Hawaii, we're here to support you in every way," said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
That optimism comes after a losing season that also saw declining attendance numbers, which in turn means declining revenue for the university.
Right now, people who support UH's football program are also showing optimistic support for the new coach.
"I'm thrilled, absolutely thrilled with it," said Mary Fastenau of Anthology Marketing Group. "I think it's the chance that he deserves, and the Hawaii connections are wonderful. I think the enthusiasm that you're hearing in the business community really says a lot about how excited people are."
"I think it's not just for him coming home, it's coming home to build a program to get going and to help this thing turn around," said football booster Don Murphy of Murphy's Bar and Grill.
The Hawaii connection may be a big draw, but Chow acknowledged that he'll have to deliver in a program that represents more than just the university. "I'm not hoping, I'm going to tell you that we are going to present a product on the field, on a Saturday evening in the fall, that will not only make the University of Hawaii proud, but will make the entire state of Hawaii proud of what we can accomplish," said Chow.