Former Warrior Football Players Return to Coach

Brian Smith
Brian Smith
Nick Rolovich
Nick Rolovich

MANOA (KHNL) -- It's a new era for Warrior football and it's not just new faces under the helmets.

Half the coaching staff begins their first year in Manoa.

However, two of them are already pretty familiar with the system.

There won't be much of a learning curve for quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich and offensive line coach Brian Smith.

That's because the two first-year UH coaches played with the Warriors less than 10 years ago.

"You really can't beat getting a chance to coach back at your Alma Mater where I was playing here not too long ago," said Smith.

"It's just great to be back in Hawaii and the offense is the same and that all just helps the transition be easier," said Rolovich.

Almost three weeks of spring ball have passed, and the coaching duo feel their past experience as players and coaches will help them lead the new crop of Warriors.

"Less than a year ago, I was playing Arena Football, but I was coaching in the off-season and playing in the arena season, so that probably helped the transition, half year coaching, half year playing," said Rolovich.

"Everything is real familiar here so it's easier to jump in and get going right away," said Smith.

And despite their new roles, they still feel that itch of throwing on the pads and showing off their stuff.

"I threw one ball today and I said oh, I wasn't going to throw a ball when I'm out here, but I just grabbed one and threw it and it felt good," Rolovich said.  "You know I just like throwing it still."

"No question there's still that itch, if things aren't going well, there's always that urge that you want to do it for them, but as a coach you can't do that, and you just need to coach your guys up harder and be more demanding," said Smith.