June Jones Reportedly Turns Down Hawaii Job
Warriors coaching search is not going well.
Who will be the Warriors coach?
It seemed so obvious and basically reported as fact that former Hawaii head coach June Jones was going to be the new head coach for the Warriors football program. Even here on our site, we had articles ready to go with Junes being hired and what it meant for the program.
Nearly anyone who is a fan of Hawaii football wanted Jones involved in some form or fashion, and out of that group,
the majority wanted him to be the head coach.
Well, in a similar Friday evening news dump to when Todd Graham announced his resignation, reports came out that Jones would not get the job as the head coach.
Being told that money was not a factor in the decision. Rather terms of the offered contract. https://t.co/raCqm3a055
— Rob DeMello (@RobDeMelloKHON) January 22, 2022
This is beyond puzzling because it seemed that Jones was the guy to take over the Warriors program.
What made this even more interesting and odd is that Hawaii athletics director David Matlin put out a press release saying they did not hire Jones.
This type of move is something that is unprecedented and possibly never done before by saying they aren’t hiring a guy. Usually, information about not hiring a guy maybe would come out later, but even that is rare.
Matlin is trying to get ahead of this by saying Jones declined the offer to coach Hawaii football.
— Hawaii Football (@HawaiiFootball) January 22, 2022
“We met with Coach Jones earlier today and, unfortunately, could not come to terms with an agreement for him to be our next head coach. I understand that there has been a lot of support for Coach Jones this past week but he has declined our offer. I respect his decision and we need to move forward in our search.
At the end of the day, we couldn’t agree on a succession plan that I felt was important for our student-athletes and supporters of Rainbow Warrior football. We are working tirelessly to get a head coach on board to lead our program and we are fully aware of the sensitivity to national signing day on Feb. 2.”
So… what were the issues?
According to his agent Leigh Steinberg, it was a very short-term offer that was at first a two-year deal and then upped to a three-year deal. Plus some good news is that Jones is still interested in being the head coach for Hawaii football.
Matlin countered that the succession plan was not defined.
Leigh Steinberg told ESPN on June Jones and Hawaii: “June still wants to coach there.” Issues today involved around a short contract offer (initially two, then three years.) Hawaii David Matlin told ESPN that Hawaii "needed a defined succession plan."
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 22, 2022
This looks really bad for Hawaii football that a coach that would have brought everyone back and in love with Warriors football to the table. Jones is willing to be a bridge head coach but two years and even three years is not enough in the eyes of Jones to get the program where he thinks it should be, and second in the hands of a coach he feels comfortable in passing the baton too.
Not to defend Matlin here, but perhaps Jones wasn’t sure who he wanted as head coach after him. Again, the signs pointed to former Hawaii great Timmy Chang who could get a promotion from Colorado State wide receivers coach to offensive coordinator and then head coach.
If Jones didn’t have a guy in mind then that would make it tough for Matlin to sign on to that type of deal, especially if Jones wanted to be the coach and not seen as a lame-duck hire.
Jones knew he had leverage in this situation and tried to use it to get a longer deal. However, Matlin dug in and said “no” then released a statement in an attempt to move on to the next candidate.
This does not seem to be over as Jones still said he wants to be the head coach. There is a lot of public pressure on Matlin to get Jones to be the head coach.
There are really two options that can happen if Hawaii does eventually bring in Jones. The first is that he is wildly successful and coaches for five or more years, or he falls flat and Matlin — assuming he still is the athletic director — can hire who he wants.
Matlin needs to worry about the here and now and not look ahead three to five years for the next coach. The fans wanted Jones and he would energize the fanbase that has suffered over the past few months of the Graham situation with players transferring.
Do not be surprised if boosters and others with money get involved and Matlin does an about face and names Jones as the next Hawaii head coach.
Jones chimes in with legitimate concerns over the deal that was offered.
Dictating who can be on my staff and only 2 year contract..What recruit would come if I was here for 2 years???..this has never been about money-but it is about giving me the ability to turn our program around and not have people tell me who is on my staff or how to coach my team
— June Jones (@CoachJuneJones) January 22, 2022