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Former Hawaii coach June Jones interested in replacing Todd Graham

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Former Hawaii coach June Jones is interesting in returning to the Warriors.

Hawaii is looking for a coach after Todd Graham’s resignation late Friday night. Graham resigned after allegations of player mistreatment and numerous Hawaii players had entered the transfer portal. Jones, 68, coached at Hawaii from 1999-2007 and is ready and willing to start a second stint at the school.

“It’s heartbreaking to see the condition of the program right now, and that’s why I’m interested in even talking with [athletic director David Matlin] and talking with whoever’s making the decisions,” Jones told KHON in Honolulu. “Hopefully I get the opportunity to do that. A unique situation that I’ve done one time and I know I can do it again.”

Hawaii was very successful in Jones’ tenure. The Warriors were 76-41 in his nine seasons and had three seasons with 10 wins or more. In his final season in 2007, Hawaii went 12-0 in the regular season before losing to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

Jones left Hawaii after that season for SMU. The Mustangs went to four bowl games in his tenure there, though he resigned two games into the 2014 season.

Jones got his major coaching start at Hawaii when he was the team’s QB coach in 1983. He moved to the USFL and CFL from there before he joined the Houston Oilers’ staff in 1987 and worked as an offensive assistant as the run and shoot offense took off in pro football. Jones was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 1994-96 and worked for the Chargers for a season in 1998 before becoming Hawaii’s head coach.

Hawaii has won 10 games in a season just twice since Jones left the school. The last season came in 2019 when the Warriors went 10-5 under Nick Rolovich. He left Hawaii for Washington State after the season and his tenure with the Cougars came to an end in 2021 because of Washington’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for state employees.

Hawaii was 11-11 in Graham’s two seasons with the team. The former Arizona State coach said in his resignation statement that he wasn’t asked to step down by the school and claimed that he left for his family and health. Graham’s son was one of the myriad Hawaii players who had entered the transfer portal this offseason and the Hawaii job is currently the only open job at the top level of college football.