Jones coached the NFL’s San Diego Chargers and Atlanta Falcons and headed the University of Hawaii Warrior football team for 9 seasons until he took the job with SMU in January 2007.
He is being criticized by ESPNDallas.com’s Jean-Jacques Taylor for “leaving his players and SMU on the day the school is to announce it will join the Big East.”
Under Jones, SMU went to three bowl games in four seasons and SMU will play Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass bowl on Jan. 7, according to ESPN.
At Arizona State, Jones will replace Dennis Erickson who was fired a week ago after 5 seasons.
Meanwhile, Greg McMackin, who replaced Jones as UH head football coach four years ago, announced his “retirement” one year before his 5-year contracted ended.
Greg McMackin, UH Football Coach
McMackin said last weekend that he would like to continue to coach, but on Monday, he stepped down and said he will waive nearly half of his $1.1 million employment contract.
McMackin, whose departure was expected after the Warriors football team posted a losing record and failed to qualify for a bowl game, fought off tears in a brief appearance at the UH Manoa campus.
The search for a successor will begin, bolstered by McMackin’s decision to free up $500,000 of his own salary to assist in the University’s recruitment of a new head coach.
“I have decided to retire from this position at this time,” he said. “I believe in my players and their potential for success. In their honor I am forgoing a half-million dollars in the final year of my contract which I hope will strengthen the football program,” he said.
Athletics Director Jim Donovan and UH Manoa Chancell0r Virginia Hinshaw prefaced Donovans’ announcement by thanking him for his service to the University.
McMackin compiled a 29-26 record as head coach, guiding the Warriors to the championship of the Western Athletic Conference last year.
But the team stumbled badly this year as McMackin was heading into the final year of his five-year employment contract.