It's not unusual for Rainbow Warriors head coach, Nick Rolovich, to do the unusual. Between tuxedos at spring games, and hanging out with an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas during the Mountain West media days, the 'Bows second-year head coach is full of surprises. But, on day one of UH football's fall camp, no one was quite sure what to make of his latest surprise.
"It's a shepherd's crook," Rolovich explained following Hawaii's opening day of camp where he debuted a five-foot tall shepherd's staff. "Dave Matlin gave all of us [coaches] a book called The Way of the Shepherd this summer. I thought, just, it's a leadership book and I like some of it. So, I ordered a 60-inch shepherd's crook. It's been here for about a month. We'll see how long it lasts."
The day one debut of his new accessory wasn't just a surprise to those outside of the program. At first, coaches and players weren't entirely sure what it meant either.
"I'm sure he has an extremely in-depth definition of what he means by it," joked junior quarterback, Dru Brown.
Sure enough, the crook did have a deeper meaning and Rolovich did have an in-depth explanation.
"With a shepherd's crook there's two sides," said Rolovich. "There's [the curved] side, which is used to help the sheep or just to let the sheep know you're there. And then there's the bottom, which is the rod. That's the discipline part of the crook... So, I'll point at them with [the curved side] and they'll know I'm happy with them, or I'm trying to teach them something. Or, if it's the other side, they'll see they did something wrong."
For offensive coordinator, Brian Smith, Rolovich's newest accessory was hardly out of the ordinary. "I'm not phased by it at this time. I've been around him long enough," said the 'Bows OC.
But, it did raise one question for Smith, "who's going to get the first knock with that thing?"