Fresno State Football

No monkey? No problem – Hawaii coach gets attention with Elvis impersonator

Hawaii football coach Nick Rolovich hired this Elvis Presley impersonator for two hours at $350 per hour to follow him around the Cosmopolitan during this week’s Mountain West Conference Football Summit.
Hawaii football coach Nick Rolovich hired this Elvis Presley impersonator for two hours at $350 per hour to follow him around the Cosmopolitan during this week’s Mountain West Conference Football Summit. marekw@fresnobee.com

If this football thing doesn’t work out for Nick Rolovich, the Hawaii football coach could always go into marketing.

He’s a natural.

By far the most unusual happening at this week’s Mountain West Conference Football Summit was the appearance of an Elvis Presley impersonator that Rolovich hired for two hours at $350 per hour to follow him around the Cosmopolitan.

And that wasn’t even Rolovich’s zaniest idea.

“That seemed to be the most fitting and doable,” Rolovich said of Elvis and Las Vegas. “Originally, I wanted to get a monkey. They have them, they’re just expensive. There’s permits and all types of stuff.”

There’s more from that fertile marketing mind. Last season the second-year head coach had players help local kids hunt for Pokémon. Before a spring practice, Rolovich wore military apparel while hosting a players vs. coaches water fight.

Oh, and the guy can coach a little, too. In Rolovich’s first season on the island, Hawaii went 7-7 (including a 14-13 win at Fresno State) and won the Hawaii Bowl.

“It’s probably been a little over the top, but that’s to get attention to the program, to get people talking about Hawaii, that’s what I thought we needed,” he said. “I told the players when I first got there, I said: ‘Listen, I plan on doing a bunch of crazy stuff. Don’t listen, don’t buy in, just trying to get people talking about us. When we get on the field, that’s when we really need to make our mark.’ ”

Marek Warszawski: 559-441-6218, @MarekTheBee

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