HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It had been two years since Chad Owens was back in Hawaii, but last week he returned home and found himself a fixture at his old stomping grounds.
"You don't realize how fortunate you are until you go away and you come back and you see this beautiful atmosphere and the feeling you get," Owens said. "Watching these boys out here work, compete, and the way Rolo's approaching it and operating this machine is fun to watch."
The UH career all-purpose yards leader has been keeping tabs on the Rainbow Warriors from afar while he became a star in the Canadian Football League. Owens spoke of the football program's current rebuild with Nick Rolovich at the helm, and the message he shared with the team.
"You guys have to get that locker room tight and make sure you're a family, so when you face adversity when those tough times come, you guys are sticking together," Owens said. "I've been on a couple championship teams, and those teams the locker room was tight. That's what wins games, that's what wins championships and that's what gives you the best chance. It's great to see that atmosphere that Rolo's trying to bring here, and I think he's doing a great job."
Weeks ago, Owens expressed interest on Twitter in coming to practice and Rolovich responded saying, "For what you did for our program, you can script practice."
"It's special for us as coaches that got to play with him," Rolovich said of Owens stopping by. "It's special for Chad to come back and I think that tells the best story. This guy's not here to sign autographs or get on TV, he's here to be around Hawaii football. I think him just doing that sends the best message to our guys how special this place can be."