Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 12:21 p.m., Wednesday, January 16, 2008

McMackin 'humbled' to take job as UH football coach

Advertiser Staff


New University of Hawai'i football coach Greg McMackin gets a hug from football player Keith AhSoon before being officially introduced at a press conference at UH today. AhSoon and other players were heading to the State Capitol to get honored during the Legislature's opening-day ceremonies.

RICHARD AMBO / Honolulu Advertiser

spacer spacer
New University of Hawai'i football coach Greg McMackin today said he hopes to be "the glue" that will keep the program together and continue its success following the departure of June Jones.

McMackin, 58, was introduced as head coach at a press conference today at the Stan Sheriff Center. He has agreed to in principle to a five-year contract at $1.1 million per year.

Jones, who led UH to a 12-1 record and a berth in the AllState Sugar Bowl, resigned on Jan. 7 to become head coach at Southern Methodist.

"I just want to thank June Jones," McMackin said. "He is responsible for this. Possibly what I can be is the glue to hold it together so that we can continue on."

"I appreciate very much the honor and very humble to accept the head football coaching position for the University of Hawai'i Warriors."

McMackin, wearing a black collared shirt with a maile lei, said he hopes to build on Jones' success.

"We have something special going on," McMackin said. "We have leadership. Every team has a different personality. Honestly, I think defensively we can be better than we were last year. Obviously we lost some good offensive players. The coaches and players are going to have to do a great job of recruiting and get some guys in here, which we are prepared to do."

McMackin said UH will continue to use the run-and-shoot offense. "No need to fix something that isn't broken," he said.

"Next season is going to be difficult season. The schedule is with two of the better teams (Florida and Oregon State) on the road. But, you know what, I know these guys are going to rise to the ocassion. I have all kinds of confidence in them."

McMackin also acknowledged the tough task of recruiting.

"We have to do some recruiting very fast," he said. "We have two weekends to do it in. I'm not really worried about this recuiting season because we're going to get who we can get. We're not going to hurry. We want to bring in good kids, so we're not just going to scramble and get anybody that's out there. We're going to get to know their families — home visit them, get to know their character.

UH-Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw said McMackin "brings passion, ability and proven success to our football program and I have confidence he will lead us to greatness."

McMackin originally was mentioned as one of the assistant coaches who might leave UH to join Jones at SMU. But he told The Advertiser on Thursday he had applied for the UH head coaching position and quickly became the frontrunner after receiving endorsements from Jones, fellow assistant coaches and players.

The UH administration was under pressure to move quickly in hopes of having a new football coach in place by this weekend when the Warriors were scheduled to bring in prospects for 48-hour recruiting visits.

The job opening was posted last Tuesday, the day after Jones resigned. A selection committee began interviewing for the position yesterday, the first day after the state-mandated five-day period from the posting of the opening. There were some 30 applicants for the position. Other than McMackin, UH associate head coach George Lumpkin also was interviewed.

McMackin accepted last night.

Jones earned $800,016, half of which was paid through donations, in an annual base salary during his last five-year contract with UH. He was offered $1.5 million a year to remain at UH.

Last April, McMackin returned to the Warrior program as defensive coordinator , replacing Jerry Glanville, who resigned as UH's defensive coordinator to become Portland State's head coach.

McMackin earned a base salary of $110,000 last year in leading a defense that improved in several key categories from the previous season.

McMackin was defensive coordinator in 1999, Jones' first season, when the Warriors went 9-4 and won the O'ahu Bowl. He left the following year to become associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Texas Tech.

He spent three years with Texas Tech. From 2003 through 2005, he was the San Francisco 49ers' assistant head coach. After Dennis Erickson was fired as the 49ers' head coach, McMackin remained on the payroll until 2006.

McMackin's only other head coaching experience was at Oregon Tech, where he also served as assistant athletics director from 1986 to 1989. He also has served as an assistant for the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL and the Denver Gold of the now defunct USFL.

In addition to Texas Tech, he was an assistant at Miami (Fla.), Utah, Navy, San Jose State, Idaho, Arizona and Western Oregon.

McMackin and his wife, Heather, have a daughter, Shannon, and two grandchildren, Kayla and Taylor.

UH also is looking for an athletics director to replace Herman Frazier, who was fired on Jan. 8 after he failed to re-sign Jones.