Technically speaking, Mayur Chaudhari didn’t follow his father’s path in his professional career. But in creating their own identities, they certainly share common ground.
Back in the 1960’s Vasudeo Chaudhari left his village in India to pursue higher education at Villanova and eventually raised a family in Northern California while working as an electrical engineer.
When his turn to pick a career arrived, Mayur gravitated to coaching.
Although his parents had reservations at first, Chaudhari has carved out a career in football in a journey that took him to the East Coast before bringing him to Hawaii as the Rainbow Warriors’ new special teams coordinator and tight ends coach.
“There’s a lot I learned from him,” Chaudhari said of his father. “Even though we don’t have football in common, just the whole thing about doing something different we have in common. He branched out and did his own thing and I branched out and did my own thing and that’s our connection. I still learn a lot from him every day.”
Chaudhari replaced Jake Cookus, who was initially retained by new head coach Nick Rolovich but was recently hired by Oregon State as quality control analyst. He officially joined the UH coaching staff on Monday and got his first opportunity to meet the players on Tuesday.
“You meet the players but you’re still continuing to meet the players over and over again,” he said. “You’re trying to steal any minute you can to talk with them, to walk with them, laugh with them, get them to open up about their lives and the more you can do that the better you’ll be for them. The game can be stressful, but other things can be stressful as well.”
As noted in today’s Warrior World section, Chaudhari is the son-in-law of former UH head coach Dick Tomey, who placed a high value on special teams throughout his career.
Chaudhari, a UC Davis graduate, spent the last two seasons at Lenoir-Rhyne University and his previous stops included Army, Virginia Military Institute and San Jose State, where he worked for Tomey.
He’d been working for Tomey for about nine months when he met the former Leigh Kincaid. They eventually married and Chaudhari had been a regular visitor to the islands before being hired to lead the UH special teams units.
“Dick’s an important man for me in a lot of different ways,’’ Chaudhari said. “Our connection is great that way too. It’s not just father-in-law, son-in-law.”