HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a rural town in the southwest corner of Virginia, nearly 4,600 miles from Manoa, is an office at Emory & Henry College that once bared the name of Offensive Coordinator Craig Stutzmann. Though the one-time Wasp was recently hired as an assistant by Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich, his old office now houses another former Warrior.
"Well, it feels like I'm walking in Craig Stutzmann's shoes," said Timmy Chang, the record-setting Hawaii quarterback who is now blazing his own trail as a coach. "I think if you ask him he'll tell you he left a special place. I'm walking in his shoes and living it right now, and it is a special place."
For Chang, Stutzmann's return home created an opportunity. After two seasons at Jackson State in Mississippi, he was hired by Wasps coach Curt Newsome last month to lead the team's offense.
"It might be division three (the school plays in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference), but he does things at a division one level," said Chang. "If you look at the facility over here, it's nicer than some of the places I've been to, in terms of facility wise, stadium wise, the campus."
Chang's still youthful coaching career has already included stops at SMU, as an assistant under former Hawaii head coach June Jones, and at Jackson State. Chang acknowledges that each coaching stop has carried him further east, though he believes the moves have been made with purpose.
"It seems like I'm moving further away from home, but at the same time, I'm learning under new coaches and new staffs and meeting new people," said Chang. "It's a really exciting time for us."
Plus, Chang says, the Emory atmosphere feels familiar.
"The place is unbelievably nice, but I think the people are even better," said Chang. "It kind of reminds me of the people back home in Hawaii. Very welcoming, very family oriented."
It helps, no doubt, that there is still someone from back home in Hawaii on the Wasp's current staff; Billy Ray Stutzmann, younger brother to Craig and himself a former Warrior receiver, remained at Emory & Henry to coach with Chang after his older brother was hired by the 'Bows.
As for any advice from the elder Stutzmann, on how best to walk in his shoes?
"He told me it's just a special place," said Chang. "Make it special."