PROVO — BYU assistant head coach and tight ends coach Lance Reynolds spent many years on the Cougars' staff with Norm Chow before Chow left Provo to take the offensive coordinator job at North Carolina State in 2000.

Chow has made numerous stops since — most recently at his alma mater, Utah — but now he will have his first chance to be a head coach. The 65-year-old Honolulu native is taking the reins of the program at the University of Hawaii.

Reynolds is thrilled for Chow.

"I think it's great for Norm and for (Hawaii). He's a natural fit," Reynolds said. "He's from there and he knows all of the high school coaches and the main cogs in the wheel over there. I think he'll do a great job. He knows what it takes to have a big-time program. Hopefully he can get the support he needs to make those adjustments.

"To build the program the way it ought to be, I think he's the right guy. I think he's obviously one of the top football coaches in the country and does a great job … For them, I think it's a perfect fit and a great hire. I think for him, he's always wanted to do it over there in front of his own people, in his hometown."

CRADLE OF COACHES: Speaking of coaches, BYU is one of the top producers of college coaches, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Iowa is No. 1 in that category, having produced 16 head coaches or assistant coaches working in Division I college football. The Cougars aren't far behind, with 15. Florida State and Auburn also have 15.

Among the BYU grads who are coaches are Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham and Ute defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake. New Washington State coach Mike Leach is also a BYU alum.

CHAMBERS UPDATE: O'Neill Chambers, who was suspended by BYU midway through the 2010 season, has remained in Provo since that time. Coach Bronco Mendenhall has said on several occasions that Chambers could return to the program in January.

"I keep really close tabs on O'Neill. He's doing well. He's maturing. He's growing in a lot of different ways," Mendenhall said. "The whole decision of removing football is to help him define who he is without it, and I think he's making a lot of progress. There's a chance he could rejoin us in January as a walk-on, still earning his stripes, but he's on track."

There's speculation that Chambers, who played receiver for the Cougars from 2008-2010, could switch to safety when, and if, he returns.

"Haven't decided for sure yet," Mendenhall said. "Receiver or safety is what he'd play."