Reports: Jones resigning as Hawaii's coach
HONOLULU -- June Jones has resigned as Hawaii's football coach, reports said Saturday.
Kent Untermann, a former Hawaii player and member of Na Koa, the school's booster club, told KHNL that Jones' was leaving because of frustration with how the athletic department was run, not because he felt his salary was too low.
"He wants to be here but he has come to the point where he feels nothing is going to change," Untermann said. "He feels he has done his part but hasn't gotten the support and leadership from the administration."
Jones, 54, who just finished coaching the most successful season in Hawaii history, is being courted by SMU for its head coach opening.
Jones was en route to Dallas on Saturday to talk to SMU officials and could not be reached for comment.
The Dallas Morning News reported SMU has offered Jones between $1.7 million and $2 million a year.
Jones currently earns $800,016 a year under a five-year contract with Hawaii that expires June 30.
The Honolulu Advertiser, citing Jones' friend Al Souza, reported Jones resigned Saturday morning.
Jones said he would leave the university because of a lack of commitment from athletic department leaders, among other reasons, the paper said.
"This breaks his heart," Souza said.
Jones also sent letters to friends announcing that he is resigning, the Advertiser and television reports said.
He thanked his friends for their support in the letter, in which he listed several reasons why he would no longer coach at the school. Full details of the letter were not available.
Untermann held on to the hope Jones could still be persuaded to remain in Hawaii.
"I don't give up easily. Even if he semiofficially resigned, if he hasn't taken the job with SMU there's always a last-minute hope there's something we can do," Untermann said.
Reports of the resignation came even though Hawaii offered Jones a new contract that would make him the highest paid coach in the Western Athletic Conference.
Hawaii would not say how much it offered Jones. But figures provided by the university show Fresno State's Pat Hill, who earns an annual salary of $1,229,996, is currently the highest-paid WAC coach.
Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier said he asked Jones to call him before deciding on SMU's offer.
The Warriors finished this season 12-0 before losing to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl -- the school's first bowl appearance on the mainland since 1992.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press