HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A survey conducted by Hawaii News Now of 30 former University of Hawaii football players who played at U.H. under both former head coach June Jones and former assistant coach Rich Miano has found a preference for Miano to become the next football coach.
Though the University of Hawaii says more than 50 people have already applied for the job, Jones and Miano are the only two which have confirmed their candidacy who also have experience as coaches within the Hawaii program. As a result, Hawaii News Now narrowed it's field of former players to those who had played at Hawaii while both coaches were on the staff.
15 of the 30 former players who were surveyed, or exactly half, said they felt Miano should be named the next head coach. 10 former players chose Jones, while three others said neither, with each recommending Nick Rolovich, an assist coach at Nevada, for the job.
Of the 15 former players who prefer Miano, more than half cited his ability to recruit, particularly Hawaii-based athletes, as the primary reason for feeling so. Said one former player, who spoke on condition of anonymity: "His passion as a recruiter is unlimited. He's a good recruiter and can bring the heat."
Others said Miano's defensive-minded approach would be a change-of-pace for a program that just fired a long-time offensive coordinator as its coach.
The 30 percent of those we talked to who said Jones was the better candidate were nearly unanimous in their reason why. Said another former player: "He's a proven product. In order for U.H. to turn the football program, around it needs a proven product."
Some cited Jones' run-and-shoot offensive system as a draw for potential recruits, saying "U.H. needs something to keep the talent local and draw them away from other schools."
The three players who chose Rolovich all said they believed the program needed a fresh start, one they felt the former Warrior quarterback could provide.