HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When Nick Rolovich was hired as the head coach of the Rainbow Warrior football team in 2015, he had one mantra: “Defend Pride Rock.”
Prior to Rolovich taking over the program, Hawaii mustered just 10 wins in four seasons and never reached a bowl game.
In Norm Chow’s first three years as head coach, he won a total eight games. The Rolovich-led Warriors have won eight games this season alone.
During Rolovich’s tenure, he has now appeared in the Hawaii Bowl two of three years. Despite his success, Rolovich credits the personal development of his players becoming men as a greater accomplishment.
“The growth in these young men as for as how they represent their families and the love we have created between them is something that will last a lot longer then what happens on (December) 22nd," Rolovich said.
As the Warriors get ready to take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in this Saturday’s SoFi Hawaii Bowl, there is a sense of familiarity in the air.
The Bulldogs are no stranger to Aloha Stadium as the two programs were longtime WAC rivals in the early 2000′s, facing off every season from 2003 - 2011.
The Warriors are riding a two game winning streak heading into the game on Saturday while the Bulldogs are coming off back-to-back losses.
The game will present a contrast of styles.
The Warriors boast one of the most prolific air attacks in college football. Quarterback Cole McDonald ranks in the Top 10 in seven national offensive categories.
However, the Warrior offense will face a defensive front that features one of the elite pass rushers in all of college football.
Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson leads the FBS in sacks this season and already has the attention of McDonald.
“(No.) 45 is a good player, it’s going to be a good test for the o-line and myself as well,” McDonald said. “Their whole defense is pretty good and we don’t go into any game thinking lightly of anybody."
The Bulldogs will take on the Warriors in the SoFi Hawaii Bowl this Saturday at 5:30 p.m.