Coach June Jones’ Departure a Blow to SMU?

Southern Methodist University was all excited today about officially announcing that its sports teams will be joining the Big East conference. But then the news began to break that head football coach June Jones has decided to leave the Hilltop in favor of Arizona State University.

Jones had been at SMU for four seasons and is credited with helping the football team to become somewhat respectable. Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPN Dallas says “Jones’ decision to leave for Arizona State makes SMU a laughingstock. Again.”

Meanwhile, Bleacher Report speculates that SMU entering the Big East may have spurred Jones to move west, because of “quality of life” considerations:

The Big East is going to be a mess and will require a lot of traveling. SMU is in Texas and will be taking several trips to the East Coast to play football games in November and December.

I’m sure when Jones heard the words freezing and snow, he remembered his coaching days in Hawaii and found the first flight out. In fact, every place Jones has coached in for the most part has great weather, including San Diego when he was a quarterbacks coach for the Chargers.

And the Arizona Republic warns that the ASU gig isn’t exactly a football coach’s “dream job”:

ASU fans expect the unrealistic. Old-timers resist new logos and pine for the good old days under Frank Kush, forgetful that it was a different time and a different country back then. The younger generation is impatient and half-vested. A school official sagely says ASU leads the nation in fans who scream their dissatisfaction from the couch.

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