June Jones Announces His Departure

June Jones
June Jones

MANOA (KHNL) -- It's the end of an era for Hawaii Warrior football. The university confirms that coach June Jones is leaving. Jones' agent says he'll sign a five-year contract with Southern Methodist University, worth about $2 million a year. Jones broke the news to his staff early Monday morning, to make sure they knew first.

KRISTEN UYENO:  KHNL News 8's Marvin Buenconsejo has been following the story all morning. He joins us from the UH Manoa campus with the latest.

MARVIN:  Coach Jones spoke to his assistants and told them personally of his decision. He also told them, he expects to return to Honolulu Tuesday.

Reports out of Dallas indicate Coach Jones has signed a five-year deal, worth about $2 million a year. It will make him the highest paid coach in conference USA. Back here at home, no one would go on camera. But, assistant coaches and staff members at the Athletic Department, are describing it as tough, tough morning.

One woman told us, it's time to bust-out the black ribbons and hang them on the doors as a period of mourning.

So now, what does all of this mean? Clearly, there has already been some finger pointing. We can expect that to continue - especially with school president - David McClain - and Athletic Director - Herman Frazier - coming under fire. And now, these same administrators need to find a new football coach. From a football stand-point, the timing could be disastrous. Coaches say, recruiting will probably take a hit. National letter of intent signing day is less than a month away. "Key" prep quarterbacks and wide-receivers "had" been considering Hawaii.

Now, it probably doesn t look too good. And what about the coaches? we need to remember -- for almost a decade, this has been a stable football program. Even on this day, 9 out of the 11 assistant coaches are members of that original June Jones staff from 1999. Now, virtually all of them are wondering what will happen next.

KRISTINE:  Marvin, what about replacing June Jones?

MARVIN:  Kris, one would think the University of Hawaii start a "nationwide search." but, the program "does have" a handful of coaches "on staff" that could keep this success rolling. Notably - defensive coordinator - Greg McMackin has a ton of national experience, and is the architect of a Warrior defense that ranked 40th in the country. And then there's long-time state prep coach, now Warrior linebackers coach - Cal Lee. He's got that hard-nosed attitude, Warrior fans love. But again, the feeling is - the university really needs to be aggressive and find a new football coach, soon - with prep signing day almost here - and spring camp, right around the corner.