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The possibility of a reunion between Hawaii and former coach June Jones took a hit Friday when the two sides hit a snag in negotiations. Jones took to Twitter to blast the terms of Hawaii’s offer as the school seeks a replacement for Todd Graham, who resigned this month.
“So I would like to comment and give my thoughts on the Football Head Coaching job..I am still interested in this job for the people of Hawaii but the job offered to me today there is no way I could accept with the conditions offered me …No coach in their right mind would accept!” Jones wrote. “Dictating who can be on my staff and only 2 year contract..What recruit would come if I was here for 2 years???..this has never been about money-but it is about giving me the ability to turn our program around and not have people tell me who is on my staff or how to coach my team.”
Jones, 68, coached Hawaii from 1999 to 2007, amassing a 76-41 record before leaving for the SMU job after guiding the Rainbow Warriors to a Sugar Bowl appearance in his final season. Word of his interest in replacing Graham surfaced in a recent interview with KITV Hawaii’s Keith Demolder. Hawaii athletic director David Matlin explained the situation from the university’s standpoint in a Friday statement.
“We met with Coach Jones earlier today, and, unfortunately, could not come to terms with an agreement for him to be our next football coach,” Matlin said in a statement. “I understand that there has been a lot of support for Coach Jones this past week but he has declined our offer. I respect his decision and we need to move forward in our search. At the end of the day we couldn’t agree on a succession plan that I felt was important for our student-athletes and supporters of Rainbow Warrior football. We are working tirelessly to get a head coach on board to lead our program and are fully aware of the sensitivity to national signing day on Feb. 2.”
Whoever Hawaii hires will inherit a challenging situation. Graham’s resignation came amid a mass exodus from within the roster amid allegations that he fostered a poor culture within the program. Graham posted an 11-11 record after taking over for Nick Rolovich following the 2019 season.