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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 2:14 p.m., Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hundreds greet UH's Jones at Big Island book signings

Associated Press

HILO, Hawai'i — Hundreds of Hawaii football fans on the Big Island showed up this weekend to meet and get an autograph from Warriors coach June Jones.

Jones was greeted by large crowds at each of his appearances in Hilo yesterday and in Kailua, Kona, today.

"Well, it's been pretty unbelievable," Jones said after signing 300 autographs during an hourlong session at a KTA supermarket. "People are excited about the football team."

The Warriors won their first outright Western Athletic Conference championship and finished the regular season as the nation's only unbeaten team at 12-0. They also earned a BCS berth to face No. 4 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

Jones signed copies of "Hawaii Warrior Football: A Story of Faith, Hope and Redemption" as well as T-shirts, footballs and other memorabilia.

"He's done so much for the state of Hawai'i," said Carole Makanui of Hilo, who had a T-shirt signed for her husband.

Tracey Yamane, KTA's promotions manager, said the turnout exceeded expectations and the supermarket quickly selling out of the book written by J. David Miller. Jones wrote the forward.

Anela Akana, sales representative for publisher Bess Press, said about 22,000 copies of the book have been sold statewide. The next shipment of books won't arrive until Dec. 28.

Eleven-year-old Kevin Davis, an aspiring football player from Volcano, got Jones to sign a shirt already bearing the signature of quarterback Colt Brennan.

"I think it's really cool because if they win or if they lose, it's still good to know that you got an autograph from a Sugar Bowl coach," he said.

Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, www.hilohawaiitribune.com