Comments about ‘Doug Robinson: Norm Chow didn't learn from LaVell Edwards' example’

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Published: Tuesday, April 8 2014 4:45 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

Really interesting article, Doug.

I'm still a bit perplexed why Chow hasn't turned out to be a good head coach. He knows how to run an offense, he knows how to develop great players, and he knows how to handle adversity. He had some sweet gigs at great schools.

Why is the Hawaii job ruining his once excellent career? Can he even hope to turn it around? And for the record, I thought hiring Clune was an excellent move for the Warriors. They need to muster up the all the defensive power they can get.

Glendora, CA

We can also learn from Coach John Wooden. He also never held grudges. He was a truly a committed Christian man who believed in practicing forgiveness. And by the way, he got great results, both on and off the court.


Liked the perspective. Holding grudges doesn't stop you from winning in sports or being successful in life, but quality of life sure is impacted!

Dietrich, ID

I remember when Dee Dowis the Air Force Quarterback a few times could not hear cadence and BYU was penalized Lavell had a few things to say to the official. Even when he didn't agree with the ref's though I think he was civil. When he is out in public how much privacy does he get? Will be with family or in mall and people that recognize him will want to talk to him right and left and he accommodates usually. I read a book about basically what goes on behind scenes with BYU coaches and players and one time someone in Temple didn't recognize him though relative got job with him. He probably is delighted when people don't recognize him.

Salt Lake City, UT

Most BYU fans probably feel bad for Chow's recently struggles in Hawaii but at the same time I think there is a feeling of some vindication as well. When Chow left BYU and was basking in the success at USC, every sports media outlet from ESPN to 1280 the zone lambasted BYU for not promoting him to head coach after Lavell. I can even recall Lee Corso talking about the 2004 game in Provo as a payback revenge game for Chow. Never mind the fact that Chow had applied unsuccessfully for head coaching jobs at places like Stanford. If Chow truly was head coach material he would've been one long before his stint in Hawaii.

Having said that, I do wish him well in his current gig but anyone who has followed his career should not be that surprised at the results.

Sandy, UT

Chow doesn't have the same persona as Lavell Edwards. But Doug Robinson let's avoid the pot calling the kettle black. In all your years covering BYU did you not mostly have positive interactions with Chow? I'm guessing you did, maybe even very friendly, cordial, etc.

I've had the chance to interact with Norm Chow on different occasions and he's always been one of the nicest, classiest, friendly people. Is he perfect? Definitely not, just based on this one example in HI. But think of the good. He's overcome various obstacles to have enormous professional success. He converted to the LDS church, raised a great family by all accounts, is very smart with a doctorate degree, etc. And he's mostly lived his life under the public eye.

Unfortunately the media like to focus on the few negative instances to sell articles but when you look at the entire package, Chow's through and through a good man. Doug let's practice what we preach and not judge a man until we have walked in their shoes.

Gilbert, AZ

I wish Norm Chow all the best. I am sure he feels the weight of the world on him as his team is horrible and he expects perfection.



It sounds like you are a little bitter toward Chow. Lighten up a little. Not fair to compare him to Lavell.


This article sounds like telling a tiger to change its stripes. Criticizing Nolan Richardson, Rick Majerus, John Thompson and Bobby Knight? Fans and media may remember Coach Knight for his tirades, but I would bet good money anyone actually involved in college basketball reveres his knowledge and coaching ability much more than they care about a chair on a court. These guys' personalities are what made them who they were. I liked Geno Auriemma's comments this week that people need to stop expecting every coach to be buds with all of his/her competitors; some coaches get along, and that's great, others don't; who are we to judge?

Jack of trades

No man is perfect. Chow apologized for this too.

Mr. Robinson is as imperfect as the next man. He is always jumping on controversial stories to get reads. Problem is, you usually have to throw somebody under the bus with a controversial opinion piece.

Orem, UT

Norm Chow showed his true colors when he refused to allow a transfer from Hawaii to BYU to play last season.

He thrived as an assistant coach when all he had to do was deal with teaching football skills and calling plays, but he's a terrible adminstrator and program manager.

Springville, UT

I don't have anything to say about Chow, and I don't worry at all about his successes or failures. All of us have our ups and downs in life and sometimes the downs lead to stress and out of character behavior. But what I will say is LaVell Edwards is one of the great men I have known. My family history intertwines with him since the 1940s. He is approachable and consistent in his application of values. He reminds me of Stephen Covey, who I also consider to have been a great man and lived what he taught. I had a conversation with him about a situation where he could have been critical of someone who was acting adverse to Covey's interests. I set him up to say something negative, and he didn't take the bait. He only said positive things about the person. I was enromously impressed with Covey's integrity, and to this day, my admiration is unwavering. I have unwavering admiration for LaVell Edwards, too. Both are examples that the rest of us will struggle to emulate.

Truth Machine
Salt Lake City, UT

Jack of trades

Neither is any man except from criticism.

Cedar Rapids, IA

If Doug wrote accurately (and we have no reason to believe differently), I don't see where he was trying to demean Norm. Apparently there are those who always want to hammer the messenger. Is the criticism of Doug okay because it defends Norm Chow?

Doug's counsel of many years ago proved to be good counsel. We all should learn from our mistakes. Many of us do.

Thinking back when Norm left BYU, I was a bit disheartened at what his attitude seemed to be. Had he been the best candidate, I have no doubt he would have replaced Coach Edwards.

What Doug did, it seems to me, is give some perspective on Norm's thin skin with reporters as was reported in the Honolulu newspaper.

Salt Lake City, UT

BYU's decision not to offer the head coaching position to Norm Chow is being vindicated at Hawaii.

Norm is a good drill sargeant, but he's not a good commanding general, and his inability to handle criticism is further proof that he wasn't the right man to be the face of the BYU football program.

Harsh criticism from both the local and national media goes with the territory of being BYU's head football coach.

Layton, UT

Hey Doug,
Coaches that conflict with the media and fans...
How about the current Head Coach and OC at byu?
What did they learn from LaVell?

Kearns, UT

Chow also held grudges against players. A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, transfered after running afoul of Chow. He had a better college career after the transfer. And yes, he would have been a good player at the Y. My friend loved LaVell, hated Chow.

Orem, UT


Coaches that conflict with the media and fans...
How about the current Head Coach and OC at utah?

RB Scott
Boston, MA

Many of the comments preceding this one propose "shooting the messenger" of unpleasant news. I have always liked Norm Chow going all the way back to his playing days at the University of Utah, where he stood out as a young man of integrity on a team that had a checkered history and truly bizarre, twisted coach (Mike Giddings). That said, Doug Robinson is one of the more even-handed columnists in the business. Robinson probably winced more than a little as he wrote the tough commentary on Chow's recent performance at Hawaii. Just like the President of the United States (Ironically, both President Obama and Chow went to the same prep school in Hawaii), Chow goes to work in the public kitchen each day. Their performances are regularly measured by journalists and public. Chow isn't the first coach or sports organization to try to exile a nay-saying reporter. Who was that "banned" journalist that famously resorted to clever disguises and binoculars to cover "The Masters" back in 1960s? I hope Chow succeeds as a head coach. However, if he doesn't, he won't be the first brilliant assistant who failed to make the transition

Layton, UT

IMO, Kyle learned more from LaVell than did bronco and anae.

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