PAGO PAGO (AMERICAN SAMOA)-- From the very beginning Hawaii head football coach Greg McMackin has always said he wants to continue what June Jones started. Not only is he doing that on the field, but off of it as well. The two friends, and coaching colleagues, recently teamed up for a special mission to American Samoa to fulfill a dream for Coach Jones.
Jones left the University of Hawaii in January, but his heart is still right here in the middle of the Pacific.
"Before I left for SMU I made the decision that I wanted to come down here and make a difference in these kids lives, and I have a vision to even make it bigger," said Jones.
Coach Jones leads a group of college football coaches, and former and current NFL players, to American Samoa. Together, they help kick off the inaugural June Jones American Samoa football academy.
"This is a great compliment to Hawaii and we have a lot of Samoan players, we're the team of the Pacific, and it's so fun to do it with June too, because we're sort of brother schools," said McMackin.
Coach Jones has no problem sharing potential recruiting grounds with Coach Mack, or any other school for that matter. this academy is all about the kids.
"I have a tremendous fondness for the boys that came from a very difficult background who came to play for me. Like I said, i'm doing it for the kids, it's not for SMU, it's not for Hawaii. The more exposure, that we get, today, this week, we're in every newspaper across the country, and that's going to bring more attention, bring more coaches here to bring more opportunities," said Jones.
Polynesian football players are known for their size and strength.
Though, Coach Jones reveals their physical presence isn't their greatest attribute.
"The thing that i've always believed is team is the most important thing, it's not what you know on the football field, it's not the x's and o's part of it, it's the locker room, it's the chemistry and I really felt like the Polynesian families, Samoan family structure was influential in our success," said Jones.
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