It's Chow time!

Given the unraveling that occurred during John Mackovic's short-lived stay in Tucson, it goes without saying his replacement will improve the status of Arizona football. There are a number of intriguing prospects, but one has more than three decades of proven success.

That man is Norm Chow. Talk all you want about great offensive minds in Dan Hawkins at Boise State or Mike Leach at Texas Tech. Chow has stayed ahead of the curve since taking the offensive reins at BYU under Lavelle Edwards in the 70s. Since then, the terms Chow and Offense have been synonymous.

A meticulous organizer, Chow has tutored a plethora of great collegiate quarterbacks. And it's not as if he's rested on his laurels based on the development of BYU standouts such as Steve Young and Jim McMahon. After his stint in Provo, he joined the staff at North Carolina State and guided freshman quarterback Phillip Rivers to national prominence.

Then he got the call from Pete Carroll. USC struggled his first season, and early in his second year, but once Carson Palmer grasped the scheme, his play skyrocketed, culminating in last year's Heisman Trophy.

Chow can coach quarterbacks. Of the 30 single-season passing leaders in NCAA history, Chow's imprint is on 11. It's apparent he can coach offense.

It's obvious he can coach.

Additionally, Chow has long-standing ties in the West, and that can benefit recruiting three-fold. The first is obvious. If you're a player on the offensive side of the ball, especially one who wants to excel at a skill position, the opportunity to play under the college game's most consistent mind is certainly tempting.

Secondly, he has spent three decades cultivating contacts in the Western part of the United States. He is a recognized commodity in Southern California, a place Arizona must be effective to succeed.

Third, by virtue of his tenure at BYU, he also understands the Mormon mindset. UA football will not be made or broken in this capacity, but LDS players have provided significant contributions to the program over the years.

And while it shouldn't be a factor, here's something PC to consider. Thirty years ago, Wildcat Athletic Director Dave Strack hired Fred Snowden as head coach of the UA men's basketball program. Snowden was the first African-American head coach at a major Division I program. Arizona has the opportunity to set the standard again, by hiring the first Asian-American Division I head football coach. More importantly, Arizona should hire the best available person for the job.

That person is Norm Chow.

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