McMackin Hired As Head Coach At Hawaii

McMackin just completed his second run as the Warriors' defensive coordinator

Jan. 16, 2008

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HONOLULU (AP) - Greg McMackin was hired as Hawaii's football coach Wednesday after serving as its defensive coordinator last season on a team that went undefeated until losing the Sugar Bowl.

He replaces June Jones, who left the Warriors to coach SMU less than a week after they were routed by Georgia. McMackin agreed to a five-year deal that will pay him $1.1 million a season, making him the highest paid coach in school history. He will earn 10 times his 2007 salary.

The 58-year-old former assistant with the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks said the Warriors will not change their wide-open offense that flourished last season behind NFL-bound quarterback Colt Brennan.

"What we have to do is build on what we have now," he said at a news conference. "We're going to keep what June has built. There's no reason to fix something that isn't broken."

The Warriors finished the regular season 12-0, then lost 41-10 in the Sugar Bowl. After Jones bolted for SMU, athletic director Herman Frazier was fired amid widespread criticism about failing to re-sign the coach. McMackin acknowledged losing a couple of recruits during that time.

McMackin's last head coaching position was at Oregon Tech from 1986-89, where he had four winning seasons. He was selected at Hawaii from nearly 30 applicants. A selection committee led by acting athletic director Carl Clapp and chancellor Virginia Hinshaw interviewed only a few finalists.

"He is a quality human being who will represent our football program, the university and the state with class and dignity," Clapp said.

With his wife of 40 years, Heather, in the front row during the announcement, McMackin said his goal was to become a head coach again. He had opportunities at Miami and Utah in the past, but the timing wasn't right.

Now it was. He was endorsed by Jones, the assistant coaches and boosters, who all wanted a seamless transition.



McMackin just completed his second stint leading Hawaii's defense, having also served in 1999. Hawaii won Western Athletic Conference titles in both seasons, compiling a 21-5 record.

This past season, McMackin installed an aggressive 4-3 scheme. Hawaii finished 34th in the nation in total defense, allowing 347.8 yards, the best in Jones' nine seasons at the school.

The Warriors were 93rd the previous season under Jerry Glanville despite having a team that finished 11-3 record and featured two defensive lineman who were drafted by the NFL. The Warriors were 102nd in 2005 and 116th in 2004.

McMackin wouldn't comment on his staff other than to say he wanted all the assistants to stay. Three have already joined Jones in Dallas. Warriors receivers coach Ron Lee is expected to become Hawaii's offensive coordinator.

McMackin was the 49ers' linebackers coach from 2003-05. Before that, he was the defensive coordinator for three seasons at Texas Tech. He was also the defensive coordinator with the Seahawks from 1995-98 and at several colleges, including Miami.

Hawaii faces a tough schedule next season, opening at Florida. The Warriors have several key defensive players returning but will have to rebuild the offense. The team has lost Brennan and all four starting receivers. Among them are Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullen, who are skipping their senior seasons to enter the NFL draft.

McMackin's first head coaching job was with Warriors of Aloha (Ore.) High School. Now, 40 years later in the land of aloha, he has come full circle.