HONOLULU (KHON2) — UH Athletics Director David Matlin apologized on Tuesday for the way he handled the hiring of Timmy Chang as the Rainbow Warriors’ next head football coach, and explained that he offered June Jones just a two-year contract, in hopes that Jones would then step down and be replaced by Chang.
With Chang now signed on as head football coach with a four-year contract worth $2.5 million, Matlin apologized for the way it all played out.
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“I really wish things had gone differently. I know that June bleeds green, and he only wants to see great success for the UH football program. I hope we can find a way where he can continue to be a part of the program,” said Matlin.
Jones turned down the job on Friday, saying the contract offer had conditions no coach in their right mind would accept. UH held a press conference Saturday questioning Jones’ character. Matlin says he had no part in that. UH Spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said he did that on his own.
As for the offer to Jones, Matlin says he really wanted Chang to be the successor and that’s why he offered Jones two years and then upped it to three years. Matlin says another sticking point was Jones’ desire to hire Rich Miano.
“But I told June that adding Rich to the staff in this succession model would be problematic. As just days earlier, he stated to the media that his dream was to become the head coach one day. I probably could have been persuaded during the negotiations. But we never got past this point in the discussion,” said Matlin.
The mayor says the whole thing was handled poorly.
“It was handled very poorly to the extent that it was disingenuous. It was unprofessional and for me it was an embarrassment for the University of Hawaii, my school, my alma mater, and for the state of Hawaii,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi.
State lawmakers are also proposing a law that would require the Board of Regents to be included in the hiring and firing of coaches.
“Well, you know, the Senate brought that up. And I appreciate that. That’s part of their, you know, part of the checks and balances in our program,” said Matlin.
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Matlin says it’s time to move on with the healing process. And Chang will play a big part in that moving forward.
“Just looking at the way he’s handled things so far. I’m excited about that. Because, you know, I need to learn and I need people to support me in getting better too. And I think Tim would be perfect for that,” he said.