(Originally published Jan. 7, 2008.)

SMU Football Coach June JonesJune Jones has been named the head football coach at SMU, Director of Athletics Steve Orsini announced Jan. 7. Jones arrives on the Hilltop after nine years at Hawaii, where he resurrected a downtrodden Warrior football program to make it one of the most exciting and competitive squads in the country.

“A top football program is an important part of the campus experience, is an opportunity to increase community involvement, can generate consistent visibility, and can provide economic resources through ticket sales,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “These benefits can have an impact on other areas of the University, through raising support among alumni and aiding student recruitment. We are committed to high quality in everything that we do.”

Jones led his Hawaii teams to 76 wins – the most by any Hawaii coach – two Western Athletic Conference Championships and six bowl-game appearances. He developed more than 50 All-Americans and produced 16 NFL draft picks, with a school-record five in 2007.

The 2007 season proved to be the pinnacle of success for Jones at Hawaii, as he led his team to the national spotlight with a top-10 national ranking, a BCS Bowl berth and the school’s first Heisman Trophy finalist. Hawaii finished the regular-season undefeated at 12-0, becoming the only team in the Football Bowl Subdivision to earn that distinction. Read more from SMU News. (Right, Jones [in red jacket] greets fans during his introduction at the SMU-Houston men’s basketball game Jan. 16. Photo by Vladimir Cherry.)