SMU Extends June Jones Through 2017
SMU had its worst season since 2008, missing a bowl game for just the second time in June Jones' six-year tenure, but the school ended speculation on his future Monday with a new contract through 2017.
"I appreciate the opportunity to continue the work we began six years ago. There is no place I'd rather be than here at SMU," Jones said in the release. "I am proud of the progress we have made thus far, but many goals remain unfinished, including restoring SMU football's championship tradition."
Jones, who spent about a decade in the NFL and about a decade at Hawaii, is 112-82 as a college head coach. After winning 23 games in his final two seasons on the island with record-setting quarterback Colt Brennan, Jones became the highest-paid coach in Conference USA, signing a five-year, $10 million deal with the Mustangs.
SMU went 1-11 in 2008, its first season under Jones, but put together an 8-5 season the next year, the biggest improvement of any team in the NCAA. The eight wins, including a blowout over Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl, represented the most for SMU since the school got the NCAA death penalty in 1987.
The team repeated its 8-5 record in 2011 and went to bowl games in '10 and '12, but fell to 5-7 this year as the school transitioned to the American Athletic Conference.
The school cited Jones' back-to-back C-USA West Division co-championships in '09 and '10 as well as the school's 14 players currently on NFL rosters in a release announcing the new contract.
"Coach Jones and his staff have successfully engineered our football program's journey from relative obscurity to competitive relevance. Under their direction, we have participated in a conference championship game a school-record four-consecutive bowl games," SMU director of athletics Rick Hart said in a statement.
"We look forward to partnering with Coach Jones as we now set our sights on the next phase of our rise to prominence: establishing SMU football as a championship program. Coach Jones and his staff share and embrace the high expectations for our program and the challenge of taking SMU football from good to great."