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UH addresses claims made by June Jones in regards to hiring

Former quarterback Timmy Chang will be the next University of Hawaii head football coach.
Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 3:43 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2022 at 5:27 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii responded to claims made by June Jones in regards to hiring the program’s next football coach after he turned down their offer.

On Friday, Jones and UH Athletics Director David Matlin met to discuss an offer to Jones, which reportedly included a two-year contract and no control of who he could hire to his coaching staff.

“This is pilau. When Matlin met with Coach Jones, it was not about returning to past glory and giving him the keys to the castle,” said UH spokesperson Dan Meisenzahl.

“It was about the future of the program short-term and long-term, which despite Jones questionable strategy to negotiating public. We still wanted to find a way for him to help lead that effort.”

The university said Jones refused to continue negotiations and walked out of their meeting.

“Coach and AD Matlin met for about 30 minutes. Yesterday, was their second meeting and UH had already increased a contract length from two to three years,” Meisenzahl said.

“Imagine what could have been accomplished if they put hours into that conversation, and instead Jones walked out and it went public. And complaints about micromanaging the hiring of assistant coaches is a red herring. Every hire requires approval of at least one level above the supervisor. The football teams no exceptions to that.”

The university then took aim at Jones’ public campaign for the job — to put the pressure on UH administration to hire him.

“Shortly after the job was posted, he began lobbying publicly, a full court press in the media and behind the scenes,” Meisenzahl said.

“Now this isn’t unheard of, but it’s highly unusual and it was deliberate, and he lobbied for the job publicly. Why? He’s June Jones. He needs no introductions. Why not apply and respect the process?”

UH also said Jones demanded control over marketing to drop the Rainbow Warriors name to return to the Warriors nickname.

When the university was asked about the initial two-year deal — which is much less than the four or five year contracts given to head coaches dating back to 1999 —UH responded by saying that each candidate is unique.

“Contract offers for any coach depends on the candidate the situation and everything, so I can’t verify if he’s ever tried to do something like this before though it makes absolute sense now at least in the minds of UH,” Meisenzahl said.

The university also said they looked at Jones’ exit from UH in 2008, his time at SMU, and Arizona State pulling their offer for their vacant coaching position in 2017 when negotiating their deal.

“When you’re hiring someone work history matters,” Meisenzahl said.

That statement contradicts how the university found their last head coach — given his past.

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