Upon Todd Graham resigning as head coach after verbal abuse allegations on Jan. 14, Jones immediately expressed interest in the job. Jones was head coach of the Rainbow Warriors from 1999-2007, a time in which Hawai’i enjoyed the most success in the history of the program. Jones went 76-41, capping off his eight-year run with a Sugar Bowl loss to Georgia in 2007.
But there won’t be a reunion for the 68-year-old and Hawai’i after all.
“I understand that there has been a lot of support for Coach Jones this past week, but he has declined our offer,” athletic director David Matlin said in a statement Friday night, vía ESPN. “I respect his decision and we need to move forward in our search. Al final del día, we couldn’t agree on a succession plan that I felt was important for our student-athletes and supporters of Rainbow Warrior football.”
While Matlin said there was a disagreement on a succession plan, Jones explained his side on Gorjeo.
“So I would like to comment and give my thoughts on the Football Head Coaching job,” Jones wrote. “..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!
“Dictating who can be on my staff and only 2 year contract..What recruit would come if I was here for 2 años???..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.”
ESPN reports that the two sides clashed over Jones’ potential staff and successor. Matlin reportedly wanted Timmy Chang, former Hawai’i quarterback and current Colorado State wide receivers coach, to succeed Jones after the two years were up. Chang played under Jones from 2000-04, becoming the school’s all-time leading passer.
As signing day approaches on Feb. 2, Hawai’i still has lots of work to do without a head coach in place. The Rainbow Warriors have 20 players in the Transfer Portal, including starting quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and starting running back Dae Dae Hunter.