June Jones was promoted to Head Coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on August 24, 2017. He originally joined the organization as Assistant Head Coach on August 2, 2017.
After taking over head coaching duties in his first season with the Tiger-Cats, no team in the CFL had more wins and points in the standings than Hamilton’s six and 12, respectively, from Labour Day until the end of the 2017 season. In that same time frame, the Tiger-Cats offence posted the league’s most points for (295), net offence (4,071 yards), passing yards (3,081), rushing yards (1,149), offensive touchdowns (28), rushing touchdowns (13), first downs (226) and were second in points for per game (29.5), all while turning the ball over just a league-low 13 times. Individual accomplishments over that stretch included quarterback Jeremiah Masoli leading the league in passing yards (3,032), receivers Brandon Banks (959), Jalen Saunders (739) and Luke Tasker (728) posting the second, third and fourth-most receiving yards in the CFL, and Banks also leading the league in touchdown receptions (7).
There were also significant numbers posted on the defensive side of the ball for the Tiger-Cats after Jones was appointed Head Coach. From Labour Day on, The Tiger-Cats defence ranked first in rushing yards allowed per game (73.4), quarterback sacks (33), forced fumbles (13) and pass knock downs (38), and were second in interceptions (12) and net offence allowed per game (335.5 yards). Defensive end Adrian Tracy also posted a league-leading nine sacks and defensive back Richard Leonard was second in the CFL with five interceptions over that span.
Jones has significant experience and a lengthy coaching resume, including head coaching stints in the NCAA at Southern Methodist University (2008-14) and the University of Hawaii (1999-2007), and in the National Football League with the San Diego Chargers (Interim – 1998) and Atlanta Falcons (1994-96).
In just over six seasons at the helm of SMU football, Jones rebuilt a program that had won just two games in its’ previous two seasons and hadn’t been to a bowl game for nearly a quarter century. During his tenure, the Mustangs won three bowl championships, sent 22 players to the NFL, and his “Run and Shoot” offence essentially rewrote the SMU record book, setting 13 of the school’s 14 all-time offensive team records. Jones was also named Conference USA Coach of the Year by The Sporting News in 2009, marking the fourth time in his career he received that honour (1999, 2006, 2007).
Prior to his time at SMU, the Portland, Oregon native served nine seasons as head coach at the University of Hawaii, similarly rebuilding an otherwise downtrodden Warrior football program that had just suffered its’ first-ever winless season in 1998, and had a combined 12 wins and no NFL draft picks or bowl game berths in the five years before his arrival. In 1999, Hawaii’s 9-3 record after going 0-12 in 1998 marked the biggest season-to-season improvement in NCAA history. Jones went on to lead the Warriors to 76 wins overall, the most by any Hawaii coach in school history, as well as two Western Athletic Conference Championships and six bowls. The program also developed six All-Americans and 17 NFL draft picks during that span, including putting a school-record five players into the NFL in 2007.
In 1994, Jones was named head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. Despite taking over the worst team in the NFL from the previous season and having no first or second-round draft picks in his first-two years, the Falcons made the playoffs in 1995 and became the first team in NFL history to have five players go over 1,000 yards on the same team. Jeff George had 4,000 passing yards, three wide receivers went over 1,000 yards (Eric Metcalf, Bert Emanuel and Terrance Mathis), and Craig “Ironhead” Heyward rushed for over 1,000 yards as well.
Jones also spent time in the NFL as the Falcons’ Offensive Coordinator (1991-93), Detroit Lions’ Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers Coach (1989-90) and Houston Oilers’ Quarterbacks Coach (1987-88). Overall, he enjoyed 13 years as a coach in the NFL, and coached Hall of Fame quarterbacks Brett Favre (1991), Warren Moon (1987-88) and Jim Kelly (1984). During his NFL stops, he also coached three other quarterbacks to their only Pro Bowl appearances: Chris Miller (1991), Bobby Hebert (1993) and Jeff George (1995).
In 1986, Jones was co-offensive coordinator of the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Rough Riders, joining the team after the United States Football League folded. He had been coaching in the USFL the previous two seasons with the Denver Gold as offensive coordinator (1985) and Houston Gamblers as wide receivers coach (1984). Jones made his coaching debut in 1983 as quarterbacks coach of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
Before his coaching career began, Jones also played quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons for five years (1977-81) and had a one-year stop in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts in 1982. He signed with the Falcons as a free agent out of Portland State after earning All-America honors with the Vikings, where he led the nation in passing and total offense.
JONES’ COACHING HISTORY
|2017-Present||Head Coach||Hamilton Tiger-Cats|
|2017||Assistant Head Coach||Hamilton Tiger-Cats|
|2016||Offensive Coordinator||Kapolei Hurricanes (HS)|
|2008-14||Head Coach||Southern Methodist University|
|1999-07||Head Coach||University of Hawaii|
|1998||Interim Head Coach & Quarterbacks Coach||San Diego Chargers|
|1994-96||Head Coach||Atlanta Falcons|
|1991-93||Offensive Coordinator||Atlanta Falcons|
|1989-90||Quarterbacks & Wide Receivers Coach||Detroit Lions|
|1987-88||Quarterbacks Coach||Houston Oilers|
|1986||Co-Offensive Coordinator||Ottawa Rough Riders|
|1985||Offensive Coordinator||Denver Gold (USFL)|
|1984||Wide Receivers Coach||Houston Gamblers (USFL)|
|1983||Quarterbacks Coach||University of Hawaii|