Miano joins Jones in voicing support for Rolovich

by Dave Reardon on November 28, 2015

Of course they’re disappointed. But no one should be surprised that June Jones and Rich Miano did not take long to express support for Nick Rolovich, whose hiring as the new head coach of the University of Hawaii football team was announced Friday.

After all, they’re brothers in the fraternity of UH players, and they coached together during some good years. They all want the same thing: for UH football to return to relevance and prominence.

Jones and Miano were finalists for the job who received the dreaded “different direction” call Friday from athletic director David Matlin.

Many UH fans hoped Jones would be hired so he could attempt to produce a sequel to 1999 when he was hired away from the NFL and led UH to the biggest turnaround in college football history, taking a team that had gone 0-12 the previous year to 9-4. Jones, the winningest football coach in UH history, capped his time in Manoa with a 12-0 regular season ledger in 2007 and appearance in the 2008 Sugar Bowl — unprecedented heights for UH football.

Rolovich played quarterback for Jones in 2001, leading the Warriors to a 9-3 record. He also served as an assistant under Jones and later Greg McMackin.

“Rolo is one of my favorite players I have ever coached,” Jones told the Star-Advertiser’s Stephen Tsai. “He will do an outstanding job for the university and our state.”

Miano’s rise from uninvited walk-on to all conference performer to 13-year NFL safety is well-documented and part of UH lore. The former UH defensive backs coach was interim head coach when McMackin left, but was not granted an interview when Norm Chow was hired in late 2011. After a short but dramatic and successful stint at head coach at his high school alma mater, Kaiser, Miano is now color analyst for Oceanic Sports telecasts of Rainbow Warrior games.

Miano said he reached out to Rolovich today to congratulate him, and the two former colleagues on McMackin’s staff exchanged texts. (Miano said there was no discussion about any possibility of Miano joining Rolovich’s coaching staff).

Despite not getting the job, Miano remains passionate about the program.

“I guess my thoughts now are that we need to do what Nick needs and what UH needs, and that is all come together and support one another. I like to call it vertical integration, from top to bottom, starting from the governor, down to the (UH) president, to the chancellor, to the head coach,” Miano said. “When I go around the conference broadcasting games, I get a feel for the excitement of the new facilities, and how these programs are trying to place themselves in the autonomous five (“Power Five”) conferences, preparing to go big-time. The Fresno States, Colorado States, Renos. … Wow, we need to have that here in Hawaii. But everyone has to be aligned, has to realize how important it is.”

Miano said UH opening next season in Australia against Cal is “huge.”

“We’re the first-to-market there with Colin Scotts, and we’re best-to-market, too. We’re the only school with a direct flight to Sydney. “This game will help with recruiting, and not just football.”

There are many things Jones, Miano and Rolovich agree upon. One is that games against big-name opponents from Power Five conferences are not just economic necessities; they are opportunities. You never heard these guys describe them as “body bag” games … their idea was always to take the check, and win the game, and that attitude was passed on to the players; they nearly succeeded at it at Alabama in 2006.

“When you’re recruiting young men, they get excited when you tell them they’re playing a Michigan, an Ohio State,” Miano said. “When scouts evaluate players, they want to see how you play against the big-name teams. When you recruit, guys always ask you about your schedule.”

1 wow November 28, 2015 at 3:07 pm

1st?

2 WarriorDave November 28, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Miano & JJ are right that it’s time to back new HC Rolo. The includes fans like me. Welcome back Rolo!!! We’ll be there cheering you and the Warriors on next year and beyond.

3 H-Man November 28, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Dave, thank you for this article which lays out the positives expressed by June Jones and Rich Miano for the game in Australia, as well as, the scheduling of Power 5 games as “opportunities.”

4 Manu November 28, 2015 at 7:13 pm

It is so refreshing to read an article that is positive about this new hire. Class move from Coach Jones and Coach Miano. There will always be haters out there and I guess we have to live with them. Coach Rolovich has a tremendous challenge in front of him but the reward is great. It will be very interesting to read who he selects as his staff, many of whom will be much older than him, I presume. Good luck to the new head coach and Go Warriors!

5 Tara Smith November 28, 2015 at 7:23 pm

At an average salary of only $50 a game UH will save bucks big time with Rolo’s hire. They are going to take advantage of Rolo’s desire to return to Hawaii and short him to the extreme in salary. He’s going to be the lowest paid coach in the Mountain West. We could have had Lane Kiffin or Les Miles and instant national prominence and attention. But Matlin didn’t want to deal with having to explain a “non fit” or “mainland haole hire” or DO HIS JOB as athletic director and bring in the money hire Lane or Les. Cowardice and laziness, in my opinion. But bottom line Rolo is a good hire, maybe.

6 wow November 28, 2015 at 9:12 pm

#5, lol … suffering from fall on head syndrome

7 808 November 28, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Lol, Les Miles?

Yes, we will make instant national prominence if he is hired.

UH will have depleted all its limited resources to pay him and UH Manoa will end up like this Texas college:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf–how-one-small-texas-college-made-money-by-saying-no-to-football-065751785.html

8 808 November 28, 2015 at 10:22 pm

It would definitely be a plus if Miano was on Rolo’s staff.

As for Jones, didn’t he apply for the unlv HC job also? It does seem he still wants to be a HC again. I hope he can catch on somewhere.

9 Come on, man! November 28, 2015 at 11:51 pm

“We could have had Lane Kiffin or Les Miles and instant national prominence and attention.”

lol no. just, no. I know you’re trolling, but at least try and sound like you know what you’re talking about.

10 hossana November 29, 2015 at 6:11 am

Miano is simply just campaigning to win Rolo’s favor in being picked to be part of his staff. Nothing more and nothing less.

11 rm November 29, 2015 at 7:39 am

hossana, you must be one negative butt hole accusing Miano of “campaining”

12 HALAWA4Life November 29, 2015 at 7:42 am

Best of luck to the WARRIORS but the Rainbows can leave the program for good!! NO MORE BOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

13 H-Man November 29, 2015 at 9:24 am

On a different subject, Georgia ended its season 9-3, then fired its coach, Mark Richt. Georgia was unimpressive in wins over Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech, but it was their loss to Florida that did in Richt. But 9-3? We can use a couple of 9-3 seasons.

14 808 November 30, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Georgia fans & boosters have an extremely high expectation of their football program doing well.

145 wins in 15 seasons, 2 SEC titles and they let go their HC. A 9-3 season and he gets fired? Tough business!

I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a drop off next year even with their talent.
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Re: UH warrior football

I can’t wait to see Rolovich put together his staff. I hope he surrounds himself with the most experienced assistants and also the most relentless recruiters. No more grad assistants as position coaches!

Also, I hope they bring back the Warrior name and reverse the decision Ben Jay made when he was here. If UH wants to move forward, then they have to move forward in every aspect of the program. If not, we should go back and call the football team “the fighting deans.”

Let’s go Matlin, change the name back to the Warriors.

Go Warriors!

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