DALLAS (SMU) – Citing personal issues, June Jones has resigned as head coach of the SMU football program effective immediately. SMU Director of Athletics Rick Hart has named Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Tom Mason head coach for the remainder of the year, and tabbed Associate Head Coach/Quarterbacks Coach Dan Morrison and Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach Jason Phillips as co-offensive coordinators.
“This afternoon, I talked to my staff and players and notified them that I have decided to resign as SMU head football coach effective immediately,” said Jones. “It was a very difficult decision for me to make, as you can imagine. I have devoted my life for the last 50 years to playing and coaching this game and it has been a great journey. This job has a lot of demands, as you know, and along with that journey comes a price that is paid. I have some personal issues I have been dealing with and I need to take a step away so I can address them at this time.
“We have some talented and really good kids, who just happen to be young. Tom Mason will take over the head coaching duties. Tom has done a great job with the defense since coming to SMU. This being a bye week will give all the
coaches and players a chance to evaluate themselves and make the changes needed for their preparation in getting ready for the next couple games and conference play the rest of the way. I would like to thank all the people here at SMU that have supported the vision we have had here. I feel we have made SMU relevant again in football by going to four bowls in my six years as a Mustang. I am very thankful for the opportunity I was given and wish only the best for the players, coaches and administration at SMU.”
“June Jones has been one of the most influential individuals on SMU football since it returned to the Hilltop in 1989,” said Hart. “In addition to reestablishing SMU as a winner, June has helped shape the university and athletics department in ways which benefit student-athletes and coaches across all sports.
“June’s decision to resign was his own, and we thank him for his efforts and wish him the best.
“As we embark upon the process of identifying our next head football coach, we are positioned to attract quality candidates due to the progress our program has made under June’s leadership. When we hoist championship trophies in the future, it will be possible because of the groundwork laid by Coach Jones, his staff and our student-athletes.”
“I want to thank Coach Jones for his efforts reestablishing our winning tradition in football,” said President R. Gerald Turner. “I also want to thank him for his commitment to nurturing well-rounded student-athletes. June has demonstrated a real devotion to the young men in his care and to serving the community. As a result, our student-athletes leave SMU as better people. He has earned the respect and admiration of many all across campus and in the community, and his contributions to our program will be lasting.”
Hart added, “We are committed to giving Coach Mason, Coach Morrison, Coach Phillips, the staff and our student-athletes our very best this season. There is still a lot to play for and we will move forward together. At the appropriate time, we will begin the search process. It will be a national search, and we will do it the right way. We will not comment on that process until we are ready to announce our selection.
“Just as our university aspires to greatness, we seek to establish SMU as the top athletics program in the American Athletic Conference,” Hart said. “We will promote and protect the assets we have – our people, our university, the city of Dallas, our history and tradition, our facilities, support services, our strong conference affiliation and media rights contracts and our enthusiastic and engaged alumni and donor base – and we will win championships on the Hilltop.”