If you've been a UH fan at any point in the June Jones era, then you've probably seen (or heard about) the magic that Nick Rolovich and Ashley Lelie made together on the field. Need a refresher? I point you to October 26, 2001. Hawaii vs. Fresno State at Aloha Stadium. ESPN. Nationally ranked opponent. David Carr. Bernard Berrian. Rodney Wright. This game was special for an insane amount of reasons in addition to those I listed above. It also had, as a part of it, one of the best 3 minutes periods in UH football history (save for every second of 2006-07).
With about 2:30 left in the game, Nate Jackson, came off the edge for the sack, forced fumble of Carr, who already had Fresno within field goal range and the win (it also must be noted that Jackson was playing through severe injury. Broken wrist or ankle I think?) Then, Rolo led the team on an 8 play, 96 yard drive capped off by a Lelie TD with 13 seconds to play (If you want to relive that moment just type into Youtube: UH-Fresno Football 2001). Lelie, for the record, ended the game with 9 receptions for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns. I don't think I could adequately capture the euphoria of the moment (nor could I recreate the decibel level in the stadium. It wasn't close to being sold out, but it definitely sounded like it.) Moments like that you never forget. Never.
Coming back to the present, I think that Lelie will be a fantastic addition to the Nevada staff. In addition to having solid NFL credentials, he's one of the nicest people I've ever met. And, while being nice doesn't necessarily make you a good coach, the best part about him (and what will make him a success at any level) is that he genuinely cares. About people and about his craft. And, truthfully, a part of me wonders if UH will regret letting these two (Rolo and Lelie) go. Both were on staff a year ago and now both are gone. I know that Lelie doesn't necessarily have coaching experience, but I would have been really excited to see what Rolo could have done with someone of Taylor Graham's caliber. Best of luck to both of them! If they beat us next season? I guarantee I wont feel so amiable. But at least for now I wish them well.