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June Jones would have been Hawaii’s football coach if he agreed to succession plan, athletic director says

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                                University of Hawaii Athletic Director David Matlin answered the media’s questions during a Zoom meeting on Tuesday.

    Star-Advertiser

    University of Hawaii Athletic Director David Matlin answered the media’s questions during a Zoom meeting on Tuesday.

University of Hawaii athletic director David Matlin apologized today for the handling of the football coaching situation and for the negative comments directed toward former UH coach June Jones by UH spokesman Dan Meisenzahl.

During the 45-minute Zoom session attended by more than 30 members of the media, Matlin also indicated Jones would be the football team’s head coach if the former Rainbow Warrior coach had accepted terms of a succession plan.

Instead, UH hired Timmy Chang, a former record-setting UH quarterback.

Matlin conceded Chang was the front-runner during the hiring process. But Matlin said he then opted to go with a succession plan that Jones floated after Norm Chow was fired as UH coach in 2015.

At that time, according to Matlin, Jones offered to serve as mentor to Nick Rolovich, then turn over the job after a few years. Instead, Matlin hired Rolovich, who led the Warriors to three bowls in four years before resigning to accept the head coach’s job at Washington State.

On Friday, when Jones turned down the offer of a two-year contract with the plan to turn over the head coaching job to Chang, Matlin offered a third year. When Jones did not agree to that, including having full autonomy of hiring assistant coaches, the discussions ended after 30 minutes.

A person close to Jones said Matlin declined to budge from the succession plan during the meeting. After the meeting ended, Matlin said he began negotiating with Chang.

Chang was announced as the successor to Todd Graham on Saturday afternoon.

Matlin said Chang agreed on Thursday to be the successor if Jones were hired.

Matlin said he did not discount the possibility of Jones and former UH player and assistant coach Rich Miano joining Chang’s staff.

Jones said he only heard about 15 minutes of today’s news conference, and declined to comment on his situation. But he offered support of Chang, whom he coached for five seasons through 2004.

“It’s time to get behind Timmy,” Jones said. “I’m rooting for him, and hopefully he’ll get the job done.”

UH also announced Chang agreed to a four-year contract, with a fifth year added if the Warriors qualified for a bowl game in 2022 and 2023. Chang’s compensation before bonuses is:

Year 1: $500,010

Year 2: $600,006

Year 3: $700,008

Year 4: $750,006

Year 5: $800,004

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