Page 15 - MidWeek - August 24, 2022
P. 15

 AUGUST 24, 2022 MIDWEEK 15
 Chang Brings Winning Mindset To Football Program
 mer quarterback rubs off on his players. Those favorable traits of his, which he’s been showcasing since his prep days as a Crusader, are what he’s banking on as he tran- sitions into a full-time head coach operating within his dream job.
his college-playing days. Ad- ditionally, Chang has been helping to create a sense of unity among existing play- ers, fans and the general public. This is clear from the team’s oft-repeated mantra of “Da Braddahhood,” a pid- ginized reference to the play- ers growing sense of family and lifelong commitment.
sition.” However, his PE coach, who also served as the intermediate team’s of- fensive coordinator, thought otherwise and convinced him that he could put his baseball arm to better use by operating behind center. Chang credits that teacher and coach, Doug Frias, as well as the tutelage received under passing guru Vinny Passas, with his development into a bona fide quarterback.
campaigns with Prep Bowl victories. Finally in his se- nior season, Chang put an exclamation point on a ster- ling prep career by marching the Crusaders to the first-ev- er Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association State Football Championship. Along the way, he threw for just over 8,000 yards and a staggering 113 touchdown passes — 64 of which came during his final campaign. Those TD numbers remain state records to this day.
ton’s Case Keenum
in NCAA Division
I history, while the
latter leaving him
in the 11th spot all-
time for most TD
tosses. More im- portantly, his pass-
ing heroics produced
wins for his team
— highlighted by the Rainbow Warriors’ victo- ries in the 2003 and 2004 Ha- wai‘i Bowl games, in which Chang was named MVP and co-MVP, respectively.
“When I was 18, I was just trying to be the best quarter- back I could be and trying to make the best long-term de- cisions and hopefully make some good decisions along the way,” says Chang. “It’s kind of the same thing now. I’ m a first-year head coach and I’m trying to make long-term decisions, but at the same I’ m trying to make really good decisions as we climb as a program and try to establish ourselves as one of those dominant Hawai‘i teams.”
“Da Braddahhood is not just a short-term thing, it’s a forever thing,” says Chang when asked to explain the concept that was developed by players and the school’s athletic department. “But it also includes everybody in the state. We want them to grasp it, rally behind it and come be a part of it.
Almost immediately, Chang’s performances on the field were nothing short of sensational. In his eighth- and ninth-grade seasons, he led his teams to titles. The same thing happened during his sophomore and junior years as he capped off those
His outstanding play only continued at UH, where in five seasons, Chang passed for an astonishing 17,072 yards and 117 touchdown strikes — the former total placing him second to Hous-
Ever humble, Chang is quick to credit others with his success on the gridiron. They include everyone from “the Good Man Upstairs who put me on the path with real- ly good people around and I got to learn to play football at a very high level early on,” to studying under and play- ing for a few of the game’s very best coaches.
Among Timmy Chang’s biggest and proudest supporters are wife Sherry and their five children.
   Of course, helping the pro- gram reach that kind of suc- cess again means in part per- suading the state’s standout high school players to, just as he did two decades ago, choose the path of the Rain- bow Warriors. Relishing the challenge, Chang believes he and his staff can ultimately convince some of Hawai‘i’s homegrown talent that the grass is just as green in Mā- noa as it is anywhere else.
“We’re all in this togeth- er,” he adds. “The whole thing that I’ ve been doing is trying to make sure that ev- Aerybody feels like a part of this team. That’s the biggest thing.”
“You can always tell when you got really good coaches because the future coaches of the profession fall from their trees,” he observes. “I was under June, I was under Cal and Ron Lee, and I was un- der Vinny Passas, and that’s kind of what grew me into what I am today.”
“I wasn’t the biggest quar- terback, I wasn’t the fastest quarterback, and I probably didn’t have the strongest arm,” he continues, “but by just being smart about things, to keep coming, to keep having that work ethic so that you’re not outworked by anybody, that’s the kind of mentality that I had.”
    s natural as Chang is at the sport, it’s im- portant to note that
It’s the type of mental toughness that Chang hopes will be on display among his players — both when they kick off their season against the visiting Commodores on Saturday, and beyond. For his part, he vows to be with them every step of the way while watching them co- alesce into a mean, lean fight- ing machine that hopefully produces magic on and off the field — just like he once did as a player in Mānoa.
            “Sure we’ d like to be cho- sen first, but all we need is at least one of the big ones in Hawai‘i to say, ‘Hey, I’m go- ing to come in and represent the state’ — just like how I did, and then other players followed along,” says Chang.
he didn’t begin play-
ing organized foot-
ball until his early
teens. Up until
then, his focus in
athletics was pri-
marily twofold — basket- ball and baseball — despite spending much of his youth serving as a ball boy for his father, Levi, a school princi- pal and basketball coach who also worked football games as an Interscholastic League of Honolulu official.
But Chang’s studious mind and determined make- up were also critical in his development. After all, oth- ers have played for and been tutored by these same coach- es and more, but not many have come close to enjoying the type of success Chang had on the field as a player.
“I work for those guys every day,” says Chang in closing. “I want to give them everything they will need to be successful on the field on Saturday, and be successful when they leave here for the rest of their life.
         To his credit, the head coach has already been ex- panding his outreach efforts in Hawai‘i’s communities and stressing the importance for tomorrow’s Rainbow Warrior to believe he has a future in the islands beyond
But all that changed once the Waipi‘o Gentry native entered Saint Louis as a seventh-grader and Levi green-lighted his gridiron participation. At first, the youngster wanted to play defensive back “because it looked like an athletic po-
“One of the things that my dad used to talk about is mental toughness — just outworking people, always being diligent, always being smart, always using your mind. That’s what carries you further,” he explains.
“That’s my job.”
      In Chang’s five seasons at the helm of the Rainbow Warrior offense, he passed for 17,072 yards and 117 touchdowns while leading the team to victory in both the 2003 and 2004 Hawai‘i Bowl games.

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