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"Covering College Football Coaching from Miami to Honolulu"







Age:  55

School:  SMU

Alma Mater:  Portland State, 1976

Conference:  Conference USA

Salary:  $2,000,000

Official Bio:

Years Coaching:  9

Career Record:  76 - 41  .650

Years at School:  1

Record at SMU:  0 - 0   .000

2007 Record:  12 - 1   .923

2007 Cost per Win: 

Attorney/Agent:   Leigh Steinberg



December 2008 Buyout:  $2,000,000


Year School Record Bowl
1999 Hawaii 9-4 Oahu
2000 Hawaii 3-9  
2001 Hawaii 9-3  
2002 Hawaii 10-4 Hawaii
2003 Hawaii 9-5 Hawaii
2004 Hawaii 8-5 Hawaii
2005 Hawaii 5-7  
2006 Hawaii 11-3 Hawaii
2007 Hawaii 12-1 Sugar
Career   76-41 .650
  SMU 0-0 .000


Date Opponent Location 2008 CHS Prediction Result
8/29/08 at Rice Houston, TX W  
9/06/08 Texas State Dallas, TX W  
9/13/08 at Texas Tech Lubbock, TX L  
9/20/08 TCU Dallas, TX L  
9/25/08 at Tulane New Orleans, LA W  
10/04/08 at UCF Orlando, FL L  
10/11/08 Tulsa Dallas, TX L  
10/18/08 Houston Dallas, TX W  
10/25/08 at Navy Annapolis, MD L  
11/08/08 Memphis Dallas, TX L  
11/15/08 at UTEP El Paso, TX L  
11/29/08 Southern Miss Dallas, TX W  
   Coaches Hot Seat Prediction   5-7  


Coaches Hot Seat Analysis

One of the most interesting places to watch the offense that June Jones ran at Hawaii was from high-up in the end zone and in the game against Nevada last season we got a good look at how Jones and the Warriors attacked opposing defenses.  The Run and Shoot offense that was taught to June Jones by Mouse Davis when Jones played QB at Portland State is built upon the simple premise that if you throw enough people out into passing routes on every play, one of them is bound to be open.  Of course, the Run and Shoot relies on a very quick decision and delivery by the QB (which Jones had in Colt Brennan), an offensive line and blockers that can keep people off the QB for a minimum of 3 to 4 seconds, and receivers that can separate themselves from defenders.  Hawaii had Colt Brennan against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, but the Bulldogs had superior athletes that not only could get to Brennan, but also had the speed to stay with the receivers, which really squeezed the Hawaii offense.  Result:  Georgia 41 - Hawaii 10.  We here at Coaches Hot Seat have always believed that putting pressure on the QB (in a passing offense by blitzing often and in a spread offense by applying direct pressure to the ball on every play) is one of the most important things in slowing down any offense.  If you hit or come very close to hitting the QB on every play, you give your team a decided advantage when it comes to the QB's confidence to make plays, and shattering the opposing QB's confidence is the easiest way to shut down any offense.  That is exactly what Georgia did against Hawaii and Colt Brennan and the Sugar Bowl game was effectively over very early in that contest.


At Hawaii June Jones had plenty of talent to play against WAC teams and to give his QBs time to throw the ball and for his receivers to get open, but the big challenge he is going to face at SMU is finding enough quality players to go up against the many improving teams in Conference USA.  The top teams in C-USA, UCF, East Carolina, Tulsa, Memphis, Houston, and Southern Miss, have recruited very well in recent years and they have hired very good football coaches to run their teams.  From what we saw of SMU in 2007, they would have a tough time making it to the playoffs if they were playing in Division I-AA, forget about competing against teams in I-A.  That lack of talent at SMU though does play into the hands of June Jones and the Run and Shoot, because it is an offense that can be taught fairly quickly, and one that can be effective against more talented teams.  The challenge for June Jones and SMU in '08 will be to find a way to score enough points in each game to make the games competitive, and we think they will have some success along the way in the coming season.  Looking out several years, SMU certainly has the football facilities, a large city in Dallas, a recruiting hotbed in Texas where many high schools run the Run and Shoot or a Spread type offense, and now an experienced head coach that can put the SMU players in the right places to win football games.  One thing that Jones probably immediately noticed when he took over his new job, is that SMU is a much different school than Hawaii.  SMU is a small, private, religious-affiliated (Methodist) school and Hawaii was a large state university.  Something that always stood out to us when watching Hawaii play under Jones is that the Warrior players seemed to play with some kind of chip on their shoulder, almost like they were going to show the teams from the mainland that serious football is played on the Islands.  That toughness, even sometimes out-of-control play that led to personal foul penalties, almost seemed second-nature to the Hawaii players, and that attitude did give them an advantage against other teams.  We have no idea if June Jones instilled that tough-guy attitude into the Hawaii players or if it was just something that was in the air, but most certainly there was nothing tough about the SMU players we have seen play in recent years.  It will be interesting to see if Jones can change the "losing" culture that has enveloped the Mustang football program, but we are certain that he will turn the SMU offense into a scoring machine, and with offensive points comes wins.  Certainly, SMU AD Steve Orsini is counting on Jones to change the culture at SMU, and it is possible to see in our mind's eye a vision of what might be 5 years from now for SMU football:  June Jones has SMU winning 9 or more games a year, SMU is one of the best two programs in C-USA every year, SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium is filled every Saturday and their are plans to increase seating and the number of luxury boxes, the Dallas Cowboys are not the only football team being talked about in Big D, donations are pouring into both the athletic program and to academics at SMU, and (GASP do we dare write it?).....there are suddenly rumors that the Big 12 is considering adding two more teams to their conference and one of the schools being talked about is SMU.  Yes, that is probably pretty close to the vision that Steve Orsini had when he hired June Jones, and that vision points to how much of an impact one man can have in this world.  Now let's see what we think Jones and SMU can do in 2008. 


Coaches Hot Seat Bottom Line

We predict that June Jones and SMU will have a 5-7 record in 2008.  The opening game of the year for SMU is a table-setter for the season, because one of the 3 teams that Rice beat in '07 was SMU.  Both teams should have fairly equal talent, so this game will allow everyone to see how much of an impact Jones and his staff have had on the Mustangs in the offseason.  We think SMU will beat Rice in a close game and they will start off at 1-0.  Week 2 is against I-AA Texas State, which lost 7 games in 2007, so this should be a pretty easy win for the Mustangs.  SMU is 2-0.  As we said in our profile on Mike Leach recently, a SMU-Texas Tech match-up would be very entertaining 5 years from now, but for now there is way too much talent in Lubbock for SMU to win this game.  Tech gets the win, and SMU is 2-1.  Week 4 is against cross-Metroplex rival TCU, and this is another game that will be a lot more entertaining 5 years from now.  TCU should be able to handle SMU pretty easily, so after 4 games SMU is 2-2.  Week 5 is a very big game against Tulane on the road, because a win by SMU over the Green Wave would give the players hope that they could win some games in the conference in '08.  In a very close game, we see SMU scoring a lot of points and getting the win.  After five games, SMU is 3-2.  Game 6 is a trip to Orlando to play UCF and current SMU AD Steve Orsini will be very familiar with the program that George O'Leary is building in Orlando, because he hired O'Leary.  A new football stadium at UCF, a large city with no other major university nearby, and a very good head coach.  That sounds like SMU now, but for this game O'Leary and UCF just have way to much of a lead in talent and experience to lose this game.  After six games, SMU is 3-3.  Week 7 brings Todd Graham's rising Tulsa team to Dallas, and this game will be another benchmark team that SMU will need to beat before they will be able to win C-USA.  Tulsa will have too much firepower for SMU and will probably get an easy win, which takes the SMU record to 3-4.  Week 8 will be the first of several match-ups in coming years against June Jones and Kevin Sumlin, and which coach can get the upper-hand in this rivalry will have the advantage in recruiting the second-tier (players not going to BCS conference schools) in the state of Texas.  In a very close game, we see SMU getting the upset, which takes their record to 4-4.  Week 9 is a very interesting trip to Annapolis, Maryland to play another first year coach in Ken Niumatololo at Navy.  Paul Johnson left Navy in very good shape and the Midshipman should be able to beat SMU at home.  After nine games, SMU is 4-5.  Week 10 is a trip to play a team with a good bit of talent in Memphis, and in a closer than expected game we see Memphis getting the win over SMU.  After ten games, SMU is 4-6.  In game 11 SMU travels to El Paso, Texas to play Mike Price and UTEP, and this will probably be a game that Price will need to win very badly to hold onto his job.  UTEP has enough talent to win this game, and SMU will probably not be ready get a 2nd win on the road in the conference, so the Miners get the win.  After eleven games, SMU is 4-6.  The season ends with Southern Miss traveling to Dallas to play SMU, and undoubtedly this will be a game that June Jones will want to win to build momentum into the offseason.  Southern Miss has a lot more talent than SMU, but after 11 games, June Jones should have the Mustangs playing at a lot higher level than when the season started.  In a very close game we see SMU getting the win to take their 2008 regular season record to 5-7.


A 5-7 record by June Jones in his first year at SMU would be a mighty improvement over recent years at SMU, but Jones is used to winning and no doubt he will see a losing record as not unexpected in his first year, but not acceptable.  Year 2 goal for SMU?  Challenge for the West division in Conference USA.


2008 Coaches Hot Seat Prediction:        5-7


Will June Jones be back for the 2009 season?      YES








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