Mustangs accept Sheraton Hawaii Bowl invitation

President Turner, Steve Orsini and June Jones at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl announcementSMU has accepted an invitation to play in the 2009 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Executive Director David A. K. Matlin announced today.

The Mustangs, who have posted the biggest turnaround in the nation this season, will snap a 25-year bowl drought with this berth. The 2009 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl will be played on Christmas Eve (Thursday, Dec. 24) at 7 p.m. CST/3 p.m. HST and will be telecast by ESPN from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

“We are very excited with the return of June Jones to Hawaii to participate in his fifth Sheraton Hawaii Bowl as a coach,” Matlin said. “Spending the Christmas season in Hawaii will be a well deserved reward for the players, coaches and the loyal Mustang fans.”

“Having had the opportunity to participate in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl in 2005, I can say with confidence that it is truly one of the best postseason experiences in college football,” said Steve Orsini, SMU athletics director. “This is a trip of a lifetime and an excellent reward for our student-athletes, coaches and staff. We are excited to represent SMU and Conference USA in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.”

“We set this bowl as a goal before the season started and I am so happy that our players will be able to have this experience,” said June Jones, head football coach. “Reaching our first bowl game in 25 years is special – not only for our current student-athletes, but also for the guys who came before them and our student body, staff and fans. This bowl has special meaning for me personally, as eight years ago, I was part of the original vision ESPN and Sheraton had for Hawaii and the nation. It is exciting to be a part of one of the best bowl experiences in college football.”

SMU (7-5) will be making its 11th bowl appearance and its first since 1984, when it played in the Aloha Bowl in Honolulu. The Mustangs tied for first place with Houston in the Conference-USA West Division with identical 6-2 league records.

Above, left to right, SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Athletics Director Steve Orsini and Head Football Coach June Jones announce SMU’s invitation to play in the 2009 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

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