Biography: Timmy Chang

Timmy Chang

Timothy Kealii’okaaina Awa Chang (born October 9, 1981) is the head coach of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and a former quarterback in the National Football League. He set numerous key college football passing records during his time at Hawaii, including the NCAA record for most all-time passing yards, which was later surpassed by Case Keenum.

Early Life

Chang, who was born in Waipahu, Hawaii, went to St. Louis School in Honolulu and was a three-year letterman in football and basketball. Eight prominent organizations and magazines named Chang a prep All-American.


Chang went on to play five seasons for the University of Hawai’i Warriors (2000–2004), starting 50 of his 53 career games at quarterback. Chang broke the old NCAA Division I-A all-time records of 1,231 completions in 1,883 attempts by Kliff Kingsbury of Texas Tech University (1999–2002) and 15,031 yards by Ty Detmer of Brigham Young University (1989–91) by completing 1,388 of 2,436 passes (57.0 percent) for 17,072 yards and 117 touchdowns. Chang played in 2,587 plays, shattering Kingsbury’s previous NCAA career high of 2,156. Chang’s total offense of 16,910 yards surpassed Detmer’s previous NCAA record of 14,465 yards. Chang was also a four-time All-Western Athletic Conference pick with six rushing touchdowns.

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Professional Career

Chang was signed by the Arizona Cardinals after going undrafted in the 2005 NFL Draft, but was cut in training camp. That year, Chang also played in the preseason for the Detroit Lions but did not make the final roster. He then signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, who allocated him to the NFL Europe in 2006. He played for the Rhein Fire of NFL Europa for the 2006 season, in which he completed 50 of 89 passes for 656 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions while sharing playing time with Drew Henson. He was in training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006, but was cut before the start of the regular season.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL acquired the negotiating rights to Chang in a February 12, 2007 trade with the Edmonton Eskimos.[15] Chang signed with Hamilton on March 13, 2007.[16]

During the 2007 season, he started two of 18 games played, completing 42 of 89 pass attempts for 467 yards, one touchdown, and seven interceptions. Chang played in his first regular season game on June 30, 2007 against the Calgary Stampeders when he replaced the struggling Jason Maas towards the end of the fourth quarter, completing his first career CFL pass, a 51-yard pass to Jesse Lumsden, overall finishing 4 of 7 for 86 yards. He threw his first career CFL touchdown on July 14 during the Ticats 29-20 loss to Montreal, a 71-yard pass to Brock Ralph.

Chang was released by the Tiger-Cats on August 29, 2008 and signed by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers the following day. He retired in 2009 and returned to the University of Hawaii to complete his bachelor’s degree.

Coaching career

Southern Methodist University head football coach June Jones, who coached Chang at Hawai’i, announced in May 2012 that Chang would join his staff as a graduate assistant.[19] Chang was chosen as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Jackson State in February 2014, assisting newly named head coach Harold Jackson.[20] In his first season as offensive coordinator, Jackson State averaged 25.8 points per game.[21] QB La Montiez Ivy threw for 3,209 yards and 22 touchdowns. WR Daniel Williams finished the season with 73 catches for 1,004 yards and 9 touchdowns. Both were named to the All-SWAC team.[22]

It was announced in December 2016 that Chang would join Nevada as an inside wide receivers coach.[23] He moved to the tight ends coaching position in 2018 before moving back to coach wide receivers in 2021.[24]

When Nevada’s head coach Jay Norvell was hired by Colorado State following the 2021 season, Chang followed him to Fort Collins and was named the wide receivers coach for the Rams.[25]

However, Chang was hired away from CSU on January 22, 2022, to become the head coach of the University of Hawaii.