Well, it looks like the Arizona State Sun Devils have found their new coach to replace the recently fired Dennis Erickson. According to Arizona Sports 620's John Gambadoro, that man appears to be former Hawaii and current Southern Methodist Mustangs coach June Jones. Not the signing that many expected, but it looks like this is who athletic director Lisa Love has settled with.
Settled seems to be the best word to describe it.
The Sun Devils went into this search with the head coaches of the Houston Cougars (Kevin Sumlin) and Southern Miss Eagles (Larry Fedora) as their top targets. Both are young coaches and had proven to be successful in building a program. The Sun Devils lost out on both coaches, and it seems they quickly turned their search to coaches they were familiar with.
Jones really doesn't present that difference Sun Devil fans were hoping for. In four years at SMU, he has an overall record of 23-28. Wait, the Sun Devils are trying to become a winner by hiring a recent loser? This doesn't seem the right direction.
At SMU, Jones has seen success, but not enough in Conference USA that screams hire me. He turned around what was an 1-11 record his first season to an 8-5 one the next, but once again Conference USA is not the Pac-12. There just doesn't seem to be much promise left.
Jones did run a high-powered offense in Hawaii, a team that went 76-41 over his tenure. He also did a great job in turning around a Hawaii program that hadn't seen much success. While Jones did see much success outside the continental U.S., one has wonder if this was really the right move for the Sun Devils, or if it perhaps was just a premature move out of fear.
Is June Jones the Right Guy?
The coaches they have wanted have quickly disappeared, but that is going to happen when there are a couple job openings. There are still plenty of other coaches, and assistant coaches, who were worth looking over.
The Sun Devils should be looking for a high profiled, or high potential candidate. A coach who did alright at SMU and Hawaii is not the guy that many would think to be the Sun Devils' best option.
This just seems rushed. Jones is 58 years old and has run his time with two different programs which he was never able to really get off the ground. The Sun Devils are trying to become a much more attractive place to play considering what they compete with in the Pac-12. They needed a much younger, fresher face. Something new that was going to make things happen.
A coach like Jones doesn't seem to be that guy. This is the same school that hired Erickson with the belief he could repeat his past, but it looks like the Sun Devils may just be in for another few years of the Erickson era with just another head coach at the helm.