Talks between the University of Hawaii’s David Matlin, the athletic director, and June Jones came a shocking halt on Friday. June Jones, who wants to return for a second time, turned down Matlins offer for the open Warriors head coach position.
According to the camp of the former Warriors football coach, there were to big sticking points. The initial offer was for two years and Matlins insistence on having veto power over Jones’ potential assistant coaches.
June Jones is the University of Hawaii Warriors winningest head football coach in Division I football history. Jones’ record was 76-41 in nine seasons heading op the Warriors, including 12-0 in the 2007 regular season and a 2008 Sugar Bowl.
Jones stated that he would still like to succeed Todd Graham. However, UH officials appear open to considering other candidates.
According to Leigh Steinberg, June Jones agent, only a two year contract would be offered. Graham, however, had a five year contract. Rich Hill, the Warriors new baseball coach, also signed a five year contract.
During the meeting, Jones rejected these conditions. The financial terms of the meeting were not discussed.
Jones via social media, “Dictating who is allowed to be on my staff and only a 2 year contract… What recruit would come if I was here for 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.”
Steinberg stated that this was a “bump in the road” He hopes that talks would continue. Jones is still interested in coaching the Warriors, he said.
Matlin released this statement after Jones’ rejection was widely reported:
“We met with Coach Jones earlier today and, unfortunately, could not come to terms with an agreement for him to be our next head football coach. 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.”
Jones is supported by many business leaders, former players and coaches, as well as local politicians.
The Warriors are losing ground in the recruitment battle. They still have almost 20 scholarships to fill. There are just two weekends of recruiting left before the February 2 signing period begins for football prospects.