June Jones is not the answer

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University of Hawaii football fans demanded a change and with Norm Chow’s recent firing, they got it. Now fans agree that the best thing for the program is to build toward the future.

So why are so many looking in the rearview mirror by clamoring for June Jones?

jj1If you’ve been following social media, it’s pretty obvious who the fans’ pick is to replace Chow. That buzz was magnified when it was revealed that Jones actually did apply for the position. Jones took the program to its highest level and that, combined with his charisma, made him a clear fan favorite. So I get it. I just don’t agree with it.

Fans look back fondly at the Jones years: high-scoring affairs, explosive offenses and most importantly, wins. Under Jones, UH reached a bowl game six out of nine years, including the Sugar Bowl in 2007. NCAA records were broken. Players went on to NFL careers. Jones’ accomplishments will never be forgotten.

But it’s time to let go. Is there anything left for him to prove? Now 62, he left his last two jobs not on the best terms. Who really knows how much he wants this job and how long he’ll stay? The run-and-shoot may have been a fun and effective system 10 years ago, but with so many teams opening up their passing games now, it’s no longer that unusual to see teams regularly lining up four wide receivers. Defenses will be ready. Is Jones really someone we can stand behind for a long-term rebuild?

Jones would definitely fill the seats of Aloha Stadium next season with nostalgic fans holding onto memories of past glory, but he would be a short-term fix. I prefer to look at the long game, and I don’t mean passing downfield. UH needs someone to basically build the program back up from scratch, not a stopgap measure.

The ideal candidate to me would be someone younger with inventive ideas. Someone who won’t come in with a million-dollar-plus pricetag. Someone who could excite potential recruits with fresh innovations instead of dated strategies. Local? I honestly don’t care. But the new coach will have to be familiar with the political and social game unique to Hawaii. Pick the right man and the wins and then the fans will come. Do any of the top applicants fit the bill of those criteria? Sure sounds like former UH quarterback and current Nevada Offensive Coordinator Nick Rolovich to me. Or how about Bowling Green coach Dino Babers?

So let’s all just chill out on Jones. It’s time for UH to look ahead, not back.

Except for those rainbow logos and unis. Those were cool.