Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said it was a “major leadership failure on multiple levels” that University of Hawaii officials were not able to hire June Jones as the Rainbow Warriors’ next head football coach.
A discussion between athletic director David Matlin and Jones, the winningest head coach in UH’s Division I football history, broke down on Friday. Jones said he was not willing to accept all the terms of UH’s proposal. UH has been searching for a new coach after Todd Graham resigned on Jan. 14.
Blangiardi said he was speaking not as the mayor but “as somebody who played there, coached there, announced there, and had a lot life-long association with UH football.”
Blangiardi said Jones “is uniquely qualified for this job. His coaching pedigree, and his cache with this community, is exactly what is needed at this moment in time. There are many circumstances to consider, not the least of which is the uncertainty of our stadium, the number of players who have left in the transfer portal and the deficit that creates for this football team, the recruiting challenges we have locally and nationally right now, especially with the fact this story has gone national, not in the best eye. At the end of the day, you’ve got a bewildered statewide community — at one time avid UH football fans — that have, quite honestly, been very disillusioned. In my opinion, not putting June in this position — and understanding these circumstances — is a major failure of leadership on multiple levels.”