HONOLULU – (Hawaii Athletics) University of Hawai'i head football coach Norm Chow announced the addition of Aaron Price as offensive coordinator. Price completes the 2013 coaching staff and the offensive position responsibilities are now set.
Price will serve as offensive coordinator and receivers coach while Chris Naeole, another new addition to the staff, will coach the offensive line. Returning coaches Phil Rauscher and Chris Wiesehan, will oversee the tight ends and running backs, respectively. Chow will continue to coach the quarterbacks with assistance from new graduate assistant Jordan Wynn. In addition, Keith Uperesa will move to Director of Player Personnel.
"We're excited that Aaron has joined our staff," Chow said. "He comes to us with experience as a coordinator and play caller. His offensive background is similar to what we run here and he's also very well-versed in the spread offense. He has recruited and coached Jason Gesser, Ryan Leaf, and Drew Bledsoe at Washington State and obviously we're excited to have him on board."
Price comes to UH after spending the past nine seasons at UTEP, where his father Mike Price was head coach. From 2004-06, he was quarterbacks and kickers coach and moved over to wide receivers and kickers coach in 2007. Since 2008, he has served as offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and kickers coach.
As offensive coordinator, the Miners averaged 388.9 yards per game including a 426.8 average during the 2009 season, and scored 27.3 points per game. UTEP went to the 2010 New Mexico Bowl.
Price's first quarterback protégé, Trevor Vittatoe, ended his career as UTEP's all-time passing and total offense leader. He set a school record for touchdown passes with 33 in 2008, and in 2009 established a Miner single-game standard by throwing for 517 yards versus Marshall.
Despite battling injuries for the majority of his senior season, Vittatoe finished his career atop the Miner record book with 12,439 passing yards, 97 passing touchdowns, 12,291 yards of total offense and 98 touchdowns responsible for. He concluded his career rated 14th in NCAA history in passing yards and 15th in passing TDs. Vittatoe is the only player in school history to throw for 400 yards in four games, and to pass for five touchdowns on four occasions. He is also the lone signal-caller to pass for 3,000 yards in three separate seasons.
In addition to coaching the quarterbacks, Price, a former kicker himself, tutored Jose Martinez, who staked his claim as one of the greatest kickers in NCAA history by nailing a 64-yard field goal against UCF in 2008. He was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award after becoming UTEP's first-ever finalist for the honor in 2007. A two-time first team All-Conference USA honoree, Martinez was 37-for-47 on field goals and 89-for-92 on PATs in two seasons with the Miners.
As quarterbacks and kickers coach from 2004-06, Price was instrumental in the development of record-setting performers Jordan Palmer and Reagan Schneider. Palmer threw for a school-record 3,595 yards in 2006, ranking sixth nationally in total offense (292.4 ypg) and 15th in passing efficiency (149.60). Palmer was selected by Washington in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
Schneider is the Miner all-time leader for kicking scoring (287 points), field goals (50) and PATs (137). He earned first team All-Conference USA accolades in 2006. Schneider was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award as a junior and senior.
Prior to UTEP, Price was the quarterbacks coach at Washington State from 2001-02, where his father was head coach from 1989-2002. He was also a graduate assistant at WSU from 1995-97, working with the punters, kickers and quarterbacks.
Price spent two seasons at Idaho State (1999-2000), coaching the quarterbacks and kickers. Earlier in his career he was the special teams coach at Cal Poly (1994) and the quarterbacks/kickers coach at Missouri Western State (1998).
As a player at WSU, Price was the team's primary kicker for two years (1992-93). He hit three field goals against Arizona as a junior, including a 51-yarder and the game-winner from 47 yards with 31 seconds remaining. He also made a 22-yarder to beat Utah in the Copper Bowl, and a career-long 52-yarder versus Temple. He scored 77 points as a senior. Price was a perfect 26 for 26 on PATs as a senior and added 17 field goals, the second-best total in Cougar history. He was honorable mention All-Pac 10 and Academic All-Pac 10.
In just three seasons at Washington State he scored 147 points. He was 57-for-59 on PATs and 30-for-50 on field goal tries.
Following his collegiate playing career, he saw brief action with Edmonton of the CFL and Sacramento of the World League in 1994.