EAST HONOLULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - University of Hawaii head football coach Norm Chow announced the hiring of defensive coordinator Tom Mason and offensive coordinator Don Bailey, who will both join the Rainbow Warriors at the end of the month and in time for the start of spring training.
"We're excited to have them both join our program," Chow said. "Tom comes highly recommended and with a wealth of experience as a defensive coordinator for many different schools. He took over a tough situation at SMU last year and finished the season as interim head coach. He's a proven coordinator and will implement a similar style of defense that we played last year.
"On offense, we realized we needed a full-time play-caller and we found that person in Don Bailey. FCS coaches are known to be creative, energetic, and aggressive and that's exactly the way Don's offense played at Idaho State. He was the FCS's offensive coordinator of the year and took ISU to record heights. He's very enthusiastic about the opportunity and we're excited to have him."
The remainder of Chow's staff will be in place by the start of next month. Spring ball begins April 4 and runs through May 2.
Mason served as interim head coach at SMU last season after June Jones' resignation following the team's second game. He was the Mustangs' defensive coordinator since 2008. His other collegiate stops during a four-decade career include Fresno State, Nevada, Northern Iowa, Boise State, Portland State, and Eastern Washington.
Mason joined Jones' staff in 2008 and was a part of four bowl teams – three of whom won in convincing fashion with the help of Mason's defense. In 2009, SMU held Nevada's No. 1-ranked rushing offense to 200 yards below its average in a 45-10 rout. In 2011, the Mustangs limited Pittsburgh to just 10 rushing yards and a bowl-record-low six points. The following year, SMU manhandled Derek Carr-led Fresno State squad 43-10 in its second Hawai'i Bowl victory.
Prior to SMU, Mason spent seven seasons as linebackers coach at Fresno State, where his unit was considered one of the best in the Western Athletic Conference. Mason also coached one-year stints in the NFL Europe, CFL, and Arena Football League. He was defensive coordinator at his alma mater Nevada, Northern Iowa, Boise State, and Portland State. Mason spent four seasons at BSU, the last of which he served as interim head coach for the final 10 games of the season.
Bailey comes to UH from Idaho State, where he spent the four seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In 2014, he was named Football Scoop's FCS Coordinator of the Year. His coaching stops also include South Dakota State, Weber State, Montana State, Cal Poly, Boise State, and Portland State.
Bailey's Idaho State squad led FCS in passing offense (348.1 yards per game) and ranked second in total offense (562.0 ypg). The Bengals also ranked sixth nationally averaging 40.3 points per game and scored more than 50 points four times, including a season-high 66 points against Simon Fraser, a game in which they generated a school-record 770 total yards. ISU quarterback Justin Arias led FCS in passing with 4,076 yards and 38 touchdowns.
During his tenture, ISU set numerous school and Big Sky offensive records. In 2014, the team finished with a No. 25 national ranking for the first time in over a decade and the team's eight wins were the most since 2003.