June Jones turns down offer to become head coach of UH football program

June Jones has turned down an offer to become the next head football coach at the University of Hawaii.
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 4:15 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2022 at 1:47 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - June Jones has turned down an offer to become the next head football coach at the University of Hawaii.

But, Jones said he is still interested in the position — which is contrary to a statement released by UH Athletics Director David Matlin.

“We met with Coach Jones earlier today and, unfortunately, could not come to terms with an agreement for him to be our next head football coach,” Matlin said. “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.”

Matlin’s statement continued:

“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 are fully aware of the sensitivity to national signing day on Feb. 2.”

Jones said he declined the position because the offer Matlin gave him was unacceptable, saying in a post on Twitter, “No coach in their right mind would accept.”

He said the UH athletics director offered him a 2-year contract — far less than the 4 or 5 years offered to every coach since 1999.

Jones said he was told he wouldn’t even be allowed to hire his own staff.

“You know, I’ve never taken a job that dictated who I can hire and who I can’t hire,” he said.

“I was not really offered a job that is conducive to winning. I mean how are you going to recruit when you got a 2-year contract? And you know I told Dave I’ll take a 5-year contract. You can fire me anytime, no penalty, but I said how you going to recruit?”

Jones’ agent said he expected more talks and that the door is not closed. The agent added Jones was barely in the car after a meeting with the athletics director when it was leaked that he turned down the deal.

“It’s not about money, it’s not about anything else but trying to help the local kids and the people of Hawaii,” Jones said. “I so badly want to get it, so we’ll see you know what happens, but it’s really not my call.”

Earlier this week, the former UH coach made his interest in the job clear, saying he had applied and was moving through the process.

The announcement triggered no shortage of excitement, with many hoping he would help turn the troubled program around.

Fans have been rooting for Jones ever since he announced his push for the job last week. Sports columnists and even lawmakers have been urging UH to bring him back.

“He’s the person for the people, he listens to his athletes, he’s a mentor. He will take us to the next level like he did when he was here before,” said State Rep. John Mizuno.

“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.”

Jones is the winningest football coach in UH history, and was seeking to take over a program in disarray. Earlier this month, Head Coach Todd Graham resigned amid allegations he’d created a toxic environment that led to a wave of players leaving the state.

Meanwhile, a source told HNN Matlin was in California on Friday interviewing Arizona Defensive Coordinator Johnny Nansen.

This is a developing story. Please check back for details.

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