Eastern Washington passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Zak Hill is the new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich, according to a source.
Renown for his tutelage of former Eastern Washington star quarterbacks Vernon Adams Jr. (Oregon’s starter this season), Bo Levi Mitchell and Matt Nichols, Hill is one of college football’s most innovative young minds. This past season was the 36-year-old Hill’s ninth overall as an assistant at Eastern Washington.
The Eagles led the FCS in passing yards this season (353.3 per game), the eighth time they have ranked in the top 10 in passing during Hill’s tenure. Under Hill, Adams won the Big Sky’s Offensive Player of the Year award last season and in 2013 while also finishing both years as the runner-up for the Walter Payton Award, the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
With Hill’s help, Mitchell led Eastern Washington to the FCS title in 2010 and won the Walter Payton Award the following season. Nichols was the Big Sky’s Offensive Player of the Year twice (’07 and ’09).
Before joining the Eagles, Hill coached at Hillsboro (Ore.) High for three seasons, including his last as head coach in 2008. He was also a student assistant for Eastern Washington from ’04–05. A Portland, Ore., native, Hill was an acclaimed quarterback at Central Washington from 1999 through 2003.
The highly regarded Rolovich is considered one of college football’s top young offensive minds. The 36-year-old was hired last month after spending the last four seasons as Nevada’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Rolovich was a Hawaii assistant from 2008–11. He spent the first two years as quarterbacks coach before adding offensive coordinator duties as well. He played quarterback for the Rainbow Warriors from ’00–01, passing for 4,176 yards with 40 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 14 games.
Rolovich was also a student assistant at Hawaii from 2003–04 and played in NFL Europe and the Arena Football League. He replaces Norm Chow, who was fired in early last month after a 2–7 start.
The Rainbow Warriors finished 3–10 record this season, including an 0–8 mark in the Mountain West.