Jones up for the challenge on the Hilltop

June Jones is known for working miracles. He did it at Hawaii and now he has been hired to the same thing at Southern Methodist University. Now it's Jones' job to have a repeat performance. According to the Mustangs new head coach, he is ready for the challenge.

June Jones is known for working miracles. He did it at Hawaii and now he has been hired to the same thing at Southern Methodist University.

Jones inherited a Warrior team that was 0-12 the season before his arrival. He took that team and won the WAC conference championship his first season on the Island.

Now it's Jones' job to have a repeat performance. According to the Mustangs new head coach, he is ready for the challenge.

"All these guys needed was to be re-motivated," Jones said. "This place is ready to turn the corner. The administration has made the commitment to make this school a winner."

Jones has assembled a coaching staff which the veteran coach admits is his most talented he has ever assembled.

"A head coach is only as good as his assistants," Jones said. "This is the best group of coaches I have ever had together at any place during my coaching career. A lot of these guys have been in the NFL, and bring a lot of knowledge of the game to SMU. They aren't only great coaches and teachers but great men as well."

Jones relaxed and laid back approach has already been well received by a team that needed a new attitude after last year's disappointing 1-11 season.

"This is a great coaching staff," Elizee said in an earlier interview. "They make it a lot of fun out on the field for us. That's the way it's supposed to be."

Jones admits that his NFL experience helps him bring a more professional but fun atmosphere to the practice field.

"Winning makes it fun," Jones admitted. "The way we do things is a little different than most coaching staffs. I try to bring some things I learned in the NFL as to how we run practices and how we make the environment. We try to spend more time teaching and less time yelling. We are working on making each player want to come back the next day to practice to get better."

When asked about the upcoming season, Jones remains upbeat but also realizes what lies ahead.

"Right now it's hard to tell how we will be," Jones said. "These young men have bought into everything we are doing extremely well. We will have a lot of young players on the field- a lot."

In fact Jones admits that he expects that at least 15 to 16 of his first signing class probably will not see a red-shirt their freshman year.

"We will have to depend on a lot of our younger guys," Jones said. "A lot of our new signees will have to come in and contribute right away for us."

Jones has already notice a change in attitude from his new team.

"Our coaching staff has these players playing at a lot higher level than we first started," Jones said. "These coaches are great at getting the very best out of a player."


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