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June Jones-Hawaii meeting stalls after sides tear over negotiations

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June Jones-Hawaii meeting stalls after sides tear over negotiations

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It’s been anything but a banner for the past few months for the Hawaii football program. In December, several Rainbow Warrior players told the San Francisco Chronicle of verbal and emotional abuse by then-coach Todd Graham. A month later, Graham was brought before two Hawaii Senate committees to testify under oath about what was going on in the program.

A week later, Graham resigned after two seasons and an 11-11 record at Manoa. The university has been searching for his replacement ever since, and it appears a meeting with June Jones, the coach with the most wins in the program’s history, is in the pipeline.

Both sides were still interested as late as Friday, but things went downhill quickly and publicly.

MORE: Why did Todd Graham quit in Hawaii?

Jones started by quelling the rumors of a comeback. He told local media that while he was still interested in the job, he couldn’t accept it as it was presented to him by sporting director David Matlin. He went into details of the process after leaving negotiations; in particular, he enumerated the stipulations with which he particularly took issue.

“I would still like the job, but I haven’t really been offered a winning position. How are you going to recruit when you only have a two-year contract?” I said. to Dave. [Matlin] I’m going to take a five-year contract and you can fire me at any time, without penalty,” Jones said. “How are you going to recruit when the kids want to know who their coach will be for the next four or five years? ”

MORE: Todd Graham appeared before the Hawaii State Senate to testify about his agenda

Beyond the length of the contract, Jones was particularly opposed to the idea of ​​ceding control over personnel decisions. The Hawaii administration is said to have a succession plan in place, and it includes Jones hiring Colorado State wides coach Timmy Chang, who was a star quarterback under Jones in Hawaii. from 2000 to 2004.

“I never took a job that dictated who I could hire and who I couldn’t – and I don’t think any sane coach would take a job like that,” he said. “They offered, but what they offered was not acceptable.”

Jones, 68, led the Rainbow Warriors from 1999 to 2007. He won two conference titles, won double-digit games three times and led the program to a top-15 finish in his final season. . Hawaii was 0-12 the season before Jones arrived and had lost 18 straight games.

Although the contract length and personnel decisions bothered Jones, he said his familiarity with the program led him to consider returning.

“It’s not about the money. It’s about nothing but trying to help local kids and Hawaiians and the support has been amazing everywhere I go,” did he declare. “I hope they reconsider. It’s not like I don’t know how to turn a program around and it’s not like it’s anything different or revolutionary from when I was here. previously.”

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Then the Hawaii administration responded. Through spokesman Dan Meisenzahl, he criticized Jones for his handling of the negotiations, saying it was not “honest”.

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Jones said he remains interested in the job, but the ball is in Hawaii’s court.

As to whether the feeling of a reunion is mutual, UH said the position is still open.

June Jones-Hawaii meeting stalls after sides tear over negotiations

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