A chance for ‘another run’: June Jones wants to return as UH football’s head coach

In his first go-around at Manoa more than 20 years ago, Jones orchestrated the biggest one-year turnaround in college football.
Updated: Jan. 18, 2022 at 3:55 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It appears June Jones has already made his return to coaching in the islands as he’s helping out with this week’s Polynesian Bowl at Kamehameha Schools.

But the big question is where the winningest head coach in UH history will be coaching next ― as he’s expressed significant interest in returning to the Rainbow Warriors football program.

“My level of interest is I applied for the job and would have liked it a couple times already previous,” Jones told Hawaii News Now on Tuesday.

“I told them that I would do it and applied each time. I applied this time.”

In his first go-around at Manoa more than 20 years ago, Jones orchestrated the biggest one-year turnaround in college football, transforming a team that went 0-12 into conference champions.

He led UH during the glory years and he’s eager to do it again.

“I’m saddened to see the program in the condition it’s in, which is probably worse than it was when I came in 1999,” Jones said. “It’s gonna take a special turnaround, a special group of guys getting it turned around. It’s not impossible, but it’s gonna be hard.”

And while he waits to hear back from the university, Jones already has coaches ready to join his staff.

His former longtime assistant Rich Miano withdrew his name from head coaching consideration and would like a chance to reunite with his mentor.

“We took over one of the nation’s worst teams and we had the biggest turnaround in NCAA history,” Miano said.

“The camaraderie, the recruiting of these great players, paying it forward and still staying involved in their lives and still connected to University of Hawaii football, to me, it’s a dream come true.”

Whoever takes over will inherit a program in disarray.

Former head coach Todd Graham was accused of creating a toxic environment, which led to a wave of players leaving the state.

Both Jones and Miano say priority one is reconnecting with local talent and the community.

“I think we do understand that to have a successful athletic program football program is not only gonna be revenue producing, but it’s gonna help everybody in terms of the respect of this culture, the respect of this football program and the success of it I think is important to everybody,” Miano said.

Jones adds he has not had any recent communication with UH Athletics Director David Matlin, but expects him to make a decision within the next 48 hours.

“You know we had a good run and hopefully, we’ll have another chance to get another run,” Jones said.

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