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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jones says he has no interest in SMU job

 •  Hawaii, New Orleans have lots in common

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

Southern Methodist University is reportedly interested in June Jones for its head football coaching vacancy, but he says he doesn't have an interest in the Mustangs.

"I have not heard from them, I'm not gonna hear from them," Jones said yesterday just before boarding the University of Hawai'i's charter flight to New Orleans, site of the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl against Georgia.

Asked if he had talked to SMU or was interested, Jones said, "No."

Jones said: "I'm just interested in the University of Georgia."

The Dallas Morning News, citing a source with knowledge of the Mustangs' search, reported SMU is "interested in Hawai'i coach June Jones as its new football coach."

The paper said SMU athletic director Steve Orsini has raised "around $10 million for the new coach and staff."

SMU fired Phil Bennett Oct. 28. Bennett was 18-52 in six seasons at the school, including three while a member of the Western Athletic Conference. SMU has had two non-losing seasons since 1989. Bennett's salary was reportedly about $500,000.

Jones is in his ninth year at UH with a 76-40 record and his current five-year contract expires in June. No extension has been announced. He receives $800,016, half of which the school said is paid by donors.

Earlier there was a report in the Daily News of Los Angeles that UCLA had an interest in Jones. But Jones said at the time he hadn't heard from the Bruins. "It (the SMU report) is kinda like the same thing with UCLA," Jones said.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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