Rolovich must turn to backup plan again
By Ferd Lewis
Who knew that Nick Rolovich's speed reading introduction to the University of Hawai'i football team's offense in 2000 would become such a necessary and annually applied tutorial a decade later?
After grappling with the offense on the run as a junior college quarterback transfer, Rolovich now finds himself compelled to teach it, again and again, by circumstances as the Warriors' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
With the curious limbo of starter Bryant Moniz — due to what has only been described as "indefinite leave" — it falls to Rolovich once again to fast-track inexperienced understudies for the quickly approaching season.
Call it an Evelyn Wood course for QBs or the Reader's Digest approach for Warrior signal callers.
Getting some backups ready for the fall was part of the plan this spring, but as backups. Then, the assignment took on a new urgency with Moniz's sudden separation from the team. If Moniz isn't ready to go for the Sept. 2 opener against USC — and nobody is saying what the odds are that head coach Greg McMackin might welcome him back come fall camp in August — then, it is Plan "B" or "C" or ...
This was supposed to be the year that things actually fell into place for the Warriors after consecutive seasons of improvisation and prayer. But that was before the stunner that cast a huge question mark over Moniz's availability.
Not for the first time since taking off the pads himself must Rolovich be a scrambler. Two years ago there was the assignment of getting JC transfers Greg Alexander and Brent Rausch ready for Florida in the wake of Colt Brennan's departure and heir-apparent Tyler Graunke's unavailability due to "personal" issues.
Then, last season, when Rausch and Alexander were injured in the space of a couple weeks, it was up to Rolovich to hurriedly prep Moniz and later, due to Moniz's injury, Shane Austin.
Now, cue the merry-go-round music again. "That's football, I guess. It is a game where the ball bounces funny," Rolovich said, sounding like someone who might have wished he'd taken up something more predictable like, say, putting out oilfield fires.
Rolovich didn't last long as a starter in 2000, but lessons learned the hard way prepared him for a record-setting 2001. And, as it turns out, for the job that again confronts him.