Could ex-Hawaii coach join Leach?

A SOMEWHAT SURPRISING announcement was made by Hawaii's Greg McMackin late on Monday, that he was "retiring" after four seasons at the helm with one year left on his contract. Could the move usher in McMackin's reunion with Mike Leach in Pullman?

If so, there appear to be some matters to settle first. And some think it's the reason he's leaving Hawaii in the first place.

The Hawaii program was rocked in late November when allegations of point-shaving came to light. The story remains fluid.

McMackin, 66, did not comment on the reports last month or since, saying he's been asked not to comment on allegations that some players have been involved in point-shaving.

According to an Associated Press report, the university said weeks ago the admissions office received an anonymous letter Nov. 3 accusing unnamed players of intentionally playing poorly to affect the final score as part of a gambling scheme. The Honolulu police and the NCAA were notified after the university received the letter, but police have said there isn't enough information for a criminal investigation.

Hawaii was 5-3 when the reports first surfaced. They finished 6-7, and with attendance lagging. Hawaii insisted McMackin was not forced out and the decision to leave was his.

McMackin's last year on his contract was 1.1 million, he accepted a 600K buyout as part of his stepping down. He leaves with a 29-25 record after succeeding June Jones before the 2008 season.

McMackin was Leach's defensive coordinator from 2000-02, where he was considered a top recruiter. His first defense ranked in the nation's Top 25 in total defense and was particularly good against the pass. His final two years with Leach were not as productive, with rankings of 50th and 85th in total defense and similar marks in scoring defense.

Dennis Erickson are McMackin, an Oregon native, close friends. They were assistants together at San Jose State back in the day and later Erickson hired McMackin at Miami, and with the Seahawks and 49ers.

Also, McMackin has been a defensive coordinator at six colleges over the years: Texas Tech, Hawaii, Utah, Navy, Miami and Idaho.

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