June Jones promised to implement a new and improved version of the run-and-shoot offense if he is hired as the next University of Hawaii football coach.
Jones, 68, the winningest head coach in the UH program’s Division I history, submitted his application on Monday night for the coaching position vacated when Todd Graham resigned last week.
Jones also picked up an endorsement from football analyst Rich Miano, a former UH assistant coach and all-league safety who played 11 NFL seasons. Miano said he withdrew his candidacy for the UH job to support Jones.
In nine seasons under Jones, the Warriors compiled a 76-41 record, punctuated with the 12-0 regular season in 2007. That year, the Warriors were invited to the 2008 Sugar Bowl and quarterback Colt Brennan was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. A week after the Sugar Bowl, Jones resigned at UH to become SMU’s head coach.
Graham resigned in the aftermath of publicly aired complaints from players that received national attention and sparked some state senators to call an informational hearing.
“I’m passionate about the program and I hate to see it in the condition it is,” Jones said today. “I know that I’ve done it before. I know I can do it again. At least, hopefully, get another chance to do it.”
Jones has been a head coach in the NFL, Canadian Football League, and XFL.
Jones acknowledged that the emergence of the transfer portal, which allows players a one-time transfer without sitting out a season, is among the challenges facing UH.
“But, really, after looking at it and going through it for the last 30 days to me, it’s kind of like NFL free agency,” Jones said. “We were very successful with the free agency the we did it. I would apply that to the transfer portal.”
If hired, he also would implement a version of the run-and-shoot that he initially learned under Mouse Davis, the scheme’s co-architect, and that he used successfully at several tenures.
“We would be running an updated (and) improved (run-and-shoot),” Jones said. “Every year, if you’re not improving the offense 15, 16%, you know, defenses are gaining on you. We’ve addressed a lot of things, from that time from coaching the CFL, coaching the XFL, and SMU. … You’d recognize it when we run it, but there are a lot of unique tweaks that are different.”
Brian Smith, a former UH offensive coordinator and center, and Timmy Chang, a former record-setting UH quarterback who now coaches Colorado State’s receivers, appear to be top candidates.
A decision could come as early as this week.