It's 1983, and June Jones has started his coaching career as an assistant at the University of Hawaii. 7 years previous to this day, June Jones was practicing at Portland State under head coach Mouse (yes, that's his real first name) Davis. This, would be the location of June Jones' first dose of the offense that would one day make him the well known coach around not just the NCAAF but the NFL as well.
Between 1983 and 1987, June Jones would rotate between many small colleges as a coach and help turn them into winners. Everytime, leaving the team the year after they had had their most succesful season ever. Why? Why not as June Jones would say.
June Jones would get his first real big time job in 1987 when he became the Houston Oilers QB coach. Something very few people know about Jones who actually had a succesful NFL coaching career along with his great college football resume.
While 1987 may have been a rough year for the Oilers, lets put it this way. It was the head coach, Jerry Glanville who took the heat for it and many believe that June would have had a great chance of being promoted to head coach had Mouse Davis (June's college coach) not gotten a job with the Lions. Because of June's and Mouse's close relationship, June chose to leave the Oilers and move to the Lions as the QB coach there.
In 1991, Jones, left the Lions to join the Falcons orginization as the Assistant Coach. After the Head Coach there could not turn the Falcons around, Jones was promoted to Head Coach in 1994. A move that would change everything for Jones and set the stage for him to get going.
This, was where Jones finally hit the spotlight in his coaching career, 11 years after it began as a humble assistant at an 0-12 UH program. He would get off immediately to a great start with the Falcons, making the playoffs in his first season there by using the Shoot and Run Offense, the one Mouse Davis had taught him all the way back at Portland State.
While the following year for Jones with the Falcons may have been a rough one due to clashes with his QB Jeff George and the media. This would not bring Jones down as the Prime of his career had yet to come.
Back at UH, the place where his coaching career began, things were rough to say the least. It was 1997 and Hawaii had lost 18 straight games including an 0-12 1997 season record. Fred Van Appon, the coach that season was fired and Hawaii did not know what to do. This was where Jones would return. By installing the Shoot and Run offense, in Jones first season at UH he lead them to a 9-4 record, and a share of the WAC Title (Hawaii's first in their history).
After such an incredible turn around season (it was the most dramatic turnaround ever recorded in college football history), Jones had a home back in college football. All around the state of Hawaii T-shirts, and bumper stickers were being made saying "June Jones for Governor" or "June would throw" (referring to Hawaii surfing legend Eddie Aikau who Hawaii also has a slogan for "Eddie would go"). Never, in the states history had anyone had so much power and influence over all the different ethnic people (Tongans, Somaoans, Filipinos, Hawaiians, Caucasians, Japanese, etc.)
In 2006, Jones became the winningest coach in Hawaii history with a big time Hawaii bowl win over Arizona State, 41-24. During that time in between, Jones would coach 8 All Americans, 52 All WAC players, 8 NFL draft picks, and turn local QB Timmy Chang into the most succesful NCAAF passer ever. With the most yards, TD passes, and completions of all time.
In 2007, Jones final season at UH, and by far his most memorable he would lead Hawaii to its first ever 12-0 season. Just 9 years after they were 0-12. Also, Hawaii would make the Sugar Bowl, another first for the school's history. Colt Brennan would finish 3rd in the Heisman Race that season as well after breaking the record for most TD passes in a single season (previously set by former UH QB Timmy Chang, also coached by Jones). Jones would later say he had six different types of recruits on this team:
1) Polynesian kids
(2) kids who have lived in Hawai??i or have family here
(3) military kids with no permanent home
(4) kids recovering from injuries
(5) kids from broken homes
(6) the rare kid from the penal system
It was these six types of recruits that made Jones so loved in Hawaii as all of the above are major issues in the state.
While Jones tenure in Hawaii may be done. I, like all UH fans still know that he isnt done with us yet. Once he turns SMU around, I am sure that he will be back to save the State that he loves so much. And they love him back every bit as much.