June Jones will have a lot to answer to over the next few months from the SMU faithful. He apparently agreed to, and accepted a deal to become the next head coach at Arizona State University, but some ASU boosters yanked the deal at the last minute. While you cannot blame a guy for wanting to take a better job and improve his status, this has to make a lot of people at SMU wonder where his loyalties lie.
SMU is not a destination job; most people around the program understand it will be a stepping stone gig for at least a few more years. But now the school has been accepted to move into the Big East, the school has to make sure they have a coach to lead the charge. It is understandable to think a Conference USA school is only a stop along the way. But with a move to the Big East, SMU will start to shed that persona, and will want to become a destination job for a top flight coach.
June Jones made it publicly known this year he was disappointed with attendance at home games and possibly this had something to do with his looking elsewhere. However, June needs to understand this area has seen the Mustangs go from a National Power to a nonexistent football program. Until recently, there were kids who grew up never seeing SMU have a winning season. So the little success he has had at SMU is just starting to open people’s eyes to the program again. And as they say, “build it and they will come”.
SMU is a far cry from what he had at Hawaii, but he needs to remember, at Hawaii his football team was the only game in town. Dallas is a very fickle city, and if he can build a consistent winner, then the crowds will start to show. But as it stands now there are going to be a lot of people around the program questioning his loyalty to SMU. People will wonder if another big job opens, will he bolt at first light.
SMU needs to pin Jones down and see if they can get him to commit long term to the school. He is definitely the right man for this job. SMU needs to make sure he will lead them into the Big East and hopefully on to success and recognition. If June Jones is able to commit to the program, then SMU may become a destination job every coach looks for. But as it stands now, they both need each other for this happen.