June Jones

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June Jones
June Jones.jpg
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team SMU
Conference The American
Record 36–42
Annual salary $2,000,000
Biographical details
Born (1953-02-19) February 19, 1953 (age 61)
Portland, Oregon
Playing career
1971–1972
1973–1974
1975–1976
1977–1981
1982
Oregon
Hawaii
Portland State
Atlanta Falcons
Toronto Argonauts
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987–1988
1989–1990
1991–1993
1994–1996
1998
1999–2007
2008–present
Hawaii (QB)
Houston Gamblers (WR)
Denver Gold (OC)
Ottawa Rough Riders (OC)
Houston Oilers (QB)
Detroit Lions (QB/WR)
Atlanta Falcons (OC)
Atlanta Falcons
San Diego Chargers (QB/interim HC)
Hawaii
SMU
Head coaching record
Overall 112–83 (college)
22–36 (NFL)
Bowls 7–2
Statistics
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
2 WAC (1999, 2007)
Awards
Sporting News College Football Coach of the Year (1999
American Football Coach/Schutt Sports National COY (1999)
CNN/Sports Illustrated National Coach of the Year (1999)
2x WAC Coach of the Year (1999, 2006)

June Sheldon Jones, III (born February 19, 1953) is an American football coach and former NFL player. As of 2012 he is the head football coach at Southern Methodist University, where he has served as head coach since the 2008 season. Jones was the head football coach at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa from 1999 to 2007. Previously, he coached in the National Football League: a three-year tenure as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 1994 to 1996 and a ten-game stint as interim head coach of the San Diego Chargers in 1998.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Jones grew up in Portland, Oregon, the second of four children born to Marilyn and June Jones Jr.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Jones played the quarterback position on three college teams: Oregon (1971–1972), Hawaii (1973–1974), and Portland State (1975–1976). It is during his time at Portland State that he was introduced to the Run and Shoot offense by Mouse Davis. It would be an offense that he would later champion throughout his coaching career.

His two seasons at Portland State resulted in totals of 5,798 yards passing with 50 TD against 20 INT. He became the first quarterback to give the Run and Shoot legitimacy as a quarterback friendly offense. In the years prior, Portland State very rarely had success throwing the ball.

  • 1975: 137/235 for 2,280 yards and 25 TD vs 10 INT
  • 1976: 238/423 for 3,518 yards and 25 TD vs 10 INT

Thereafter, he entered professional football, playing for the Atlanta Falcons (1977–1981) of the National Football League and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (1982). In four seasons with the Falcons, Jones completed 75 of 166 passes for 923 yards with three touchdowns and seven interceptions.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In 1983, Jones started his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Dick Tomey at the University of Hawaii. He then spent two years in the USFL, first as the wide receivers coach for the Houston Gamblers (1984), then as the offensive coordinator for the Denver Gold (1985). Following the demise of the USFL, Jones spent the 1986 season working as an offensive assistant for the Ottawa Rough Riders of the CFL. In 1987, he got his first NFL coaching position serving as the quarterbacks coach on Jerry Glanville's staff with the Houston Oilers. After Glanville was released by the Oilers, he would join the Detroit Lions coaching staff upon the recommendation of Mouse Davis, his college head coach at Portland State who was serving as the team's offensive coordinator.

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

Jones reunited with Glanville upon joining the Atlanta Falcons organization in 1991 as its assistant head coach. In 1994, Jones replaced Glanville as the team's head coach, a move that caused a rift between the two. Reportedly, they did not speak to each other for several years thereafter.[3] (Later, in the 2000s, Jones would hire Glanville as defensive coordinator at Hawaii). As head coach, Jones installed the Run & Shoot offense he learned under Mouse Davis. Initially, quarterback Jeff George flourished under the system, passing for 3,734 yards and 23 touchdowns in Jones's first year and 4143 yards and 24 touchdowns his second year. In 1995, Jones's second season as head coach, the Falcons went to the playoffs, losing in the first round to the Green Bay Packers. The following year, the Falcons posted a 3–13 record, leading to Jones's dismissal. Jones's coaching record over three seasons in Atlanta was nineteen wins and twenty-nine losses.[4] He also clashed with quarterback Jeff George during his final season, including a well publicized and widely broadcast profanity laced shouting match during a September 23 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The feud contributed to both men's release by the organization.[5][6][7]

San Diego Chargers[edit]

Jones returned to coaching when the San Diego Chargers hired him as quarterbacks coach on January 20, 1998. On October 13, 1998, head coach Kevin Gilbride was fired after the sixth game and Jones became the interim head coach. The Chargers won three of ten games coached by Jones, giving him a career NFL coaching record of 22 wins and 36 losses.

Hawaiʻi[edit]

Jones joined the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa football team as head coach, replacing Fred von Appen, who was fired when the team lost 18 games in a row, including all twelve games in the 1998 season. Jones led the Warriors to a 9–4 record and a share of the Western Athletic Conference football championship in the 1999 season, making it the most dramatic turnaround in NCAA football history.[8] With Jones's success on the field, and media-friendly persona off the field, he instantly became one of the most famous people in Hawaiʻi, with some people making "June Jones for Governor" T-shirts.[9] Reflecting his offensive philosophy, bumper stickers sporting the slogan "June would throw" appeared. These reference legendary Hawaiʻian lifeguard Eddie Aikau, of whom it is said, "Eddie would go" (into big surf).[10]

During his tenure at Hawaiʻi, he coached five All-Americans, 52 all-conference performers, and eight NFL Draft picks. In particular, Jones claims to have made a special effort to recruit local talent in his players and coaching staff. One of the most notable of his recruits was quarterback Timmy Chang, who became the all-time NCAA leader in passing yardage.[11]

Jones nearly died in a car accident on February 22, 2001, missing the spring season because of his injuries.[12]

On December 24, 2006, Jones passed Dick Tomey to become the winningest head coach in Hawaiʻi football history (against an all-college schedule) with a 41–24 victory over Arizona State in the 2006 Hawaiʻi Bowl.

Frustrated with what he viewed as a lack of support from the University, Jones opted to leave Hawaii at the end of the 2007 season. After initial reports had him interviewing at SMU, Hawaii officials had offers to raise his salary from $800,000 a year to $1.7 million a year and offered a commitment to improve its facilities; in addition there was an outpouring of support from Hawaii fans, including Gov. Linda Lingle. However, Jones contacted Hawaii on January 7, 2008 and let them know he had decided to accept an offer from SMU. Jones said the work that needed to be done to improve the football facilities and the campus in general would never get done with him still there. He said after all of the broken promises, leaving was the only way to send a message. Jones went 76–41 at Hawaii, including 4–2 in bowls. His teams finished first in the WAC twice and second two other times.[13]

SMU[edit]

In a press conference at the Hall of Champions adjacent to Gerald J. Ford Stadium on January 7, 2008, Jones was introduced as the new head football coach at Southern Methodist University.[14][15] He was the school's fifth coach since the "death penalty" in 1987. Jones signed a five-year contract with SMU, paying him two million dollars annually, and making him the highest-paid coach in Conference USA.[16] He guided the SMU Mustangs to a 1–11 record in 2008.

On November 28, 2009, Jones coached SMU to a win over Tulane, ending the regular season with a 7–5 record, the most SMU victories in a season since the 1980s. The 2009 season included a win over the defending and eventual repeat C-USA champion, East Carolina. The 2009 season also saw Jones utilize the ground game more than in recent seasons. Jones has led SMU to its third bowl-eligible season (6–5 in 1997, 6–6 in 2006), and to its first bowl game (Hawai'i Bowl) since the 1984 Aloha Bowl and the NCAA-imposed death penalty.[17] SMU defeated Nevada, 45–10, to finish the season 8–5. As in 1999, Jones coached his team to the most improved record in Division I football.

In 2010, Jones coached the Mustangs to a .500 season. The Mustangs went 7–7 overall with a conference record of 6–2, helping them clinch the C-USA Western title. The team beat the previous year's C-USA champion, East Carolina, in overtime in the final regular season game but lost the Conference USA Championship Game in Orlando to the UCF the next week. Jones and the Mustangs went to their second consecutive bowl game, the Armed Forces Bowl, losing to the Army Black Knights, 16–14. The game was played at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium because the game's the normal venue, Texas Christian University's Amon G. Carter Stadium, was undergoing renovation.

Coaching style[edit]

Jones' offenses rarely run the ball, favoring a wide-open, pass-heavy offense, the run and shoot approach; however, in 2010 sophomore tailback Zach Line rushed for over 1,450 yards in 14 games, making him the 11th best rusher in the FBS.

Criticism[edit]

Joe Moore of KHON-TV in Honolulu, Hawaii faulted Jones for discarding long-standing traditions, such as changing music played during home games, and the change in the uniforms and team nickname during his tenure.[18]

Jones negotiated a contract worth $800,016 during the 2004 season, which made him the highest-paid public employee in the state, even though the football team was struggling.[19] The team finished with a 7–5 regular season record and an invitation to the Hawaiʻi Bowl. Half of the $800,000 salary was paid by private donors.[18]

Head coaching record[edit]

College[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Hawaii Warriors (Western Athletic Conference) (1999–2007)
1999 Hawaii 9–4 5–2 T–1st W Oahu
2000 Hawaii 3–9 2–6 T–6th
2001 Hawaii 9–3 5–3 T–4th
2002 Hawaii 10–4 7–1 2nd L Hawaii
2003 Hawaii 9–5 5–3 T–4th W Hawaii
2004 Hawaii 8–5 4–4 5th W Hawaii
2005 Hawaii 5–7 4–4 5th
2006 Hawaii 11–3 7–1 2nd W Hawaii 24
2007 Hawaii 12–1 8–0 1st L Sugar 17 19
Hawaiʻi: 76–41 47–24
SMU Mustangs (Conference USA) (2008–2012)
2008 SMU 1–11 0–8 6th (West)
2009 SMU 8–5 6–2 T–1st (West) W Hawaii
2010 SMU 7–7 6–2 T–1st (West) L Armed Forces
2011 SMU 8–5 5–3 3rd (West) W BBVA Compass
2012 SMU 7–6 5–3 2nd (West) W Hawaii
SMU Mustangs (American Athletic Conference) (2013–present)
2013 SMU 5-7 4-4
2014 SMU 0-1 0-0
SMU: 36–42 26–22
Total: 112–83
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

NFL[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
ATL 1994 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC West
ATL 1995 9 7 0 .563 2nd in NFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Green Bay in Wild Card Round.
ATL 1996 3 13 0 .188 4th in NFC West
Atlanta Total 19 29 0 .396 0 1 .000
SD 1998 3 7 0 .300 5th in AFC West
San Diego Total 3 7 0 .300 0 0 .000
Total 22 36 0 .348 0 1 .000

Became interim head coach when Kevin Gilbride was fired after the sixth game of the season

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tom Rossley
Atlanta Falcons Offensive Coordinator
1991–1993
Succeeded by
Mouse Davis