Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, December 14, 1999

R A I N B O W _ F O O T B A L L

Texas Tech
takes McMackin

He'll leave UH to become
the Red Raiders' associate
head football coach

By Paul Arnett


The loss of Greg McMackin to Texas Tech adds to an already long list of coordinators to leave the Hawaii football program.

McMackin told the team prior to yesterday's practice that he will be the Red Raiders' associate head coach and defensive coordinator. He will remain in his current position with the Rainbows through the Oahu Bowl, but will join the new staff of Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach soon afterward.

June Jones' next hire will make it a dozen UH coordinators to pass through the islands since 1994, a key reason why the Rainbows are 20-51-1 during that stretch.

"We hate to lose a coach of Greg's caliber because he has meant a lot to this turnaround," Jones said after last night's practice. "But we're going to get someone in here who can do the job.

"I'm not sure what my timetable will be. I already have a couple of guys in mind, but I may have to wait as long as a month before I can talk with them. But we're not in a hurry because this is an important hire."

McMackin said after yesterday's practice that he and his wife never had a more enjoyable year in football, including the national championship season with the Miami Hurricanes.

"But this is just too good of a deal to pass up," McMackin said of the offer to be Texas Tech's defensive coordinator. "It's a chance to coach in a major conference."

McMackin was reportedly making about $150,000 as Hawaii's defensive coordinator. He said yesterday that what Texas Tech is offering is even better than the $200,000 annual salary being paid the new head coach at Nevada.

McMackin, 50, interviewed for that position two weeks ago, but he said the Red Raiders' job was a better deal all the way around for his wife and family. Idaho's Chris Tormey was named the new Wolf Pack head coach last week.

"I wanted to wait to make this announcement so the guys on the team would hear it from me," McMackin said. "This has been a great group who played their hearts out. I told my wife this has been a magical season."

Jones will likely replace McMackin with a coach who has a similar zone-blitz philosophy. Granted, the Rainbows didn't always produce the best statistical data -- the biggest improvement was in the secondary -- but they played well enough down the stretch.

Hawaii tied the defensive scoring record with five touchdowns. Middle linebacker Jeff Ulbrich set a team record with 169 tackles and cornerback Quincy LeJay also broke a school mark with three interception returns for touchdowns. He had seven picks overall. The Rainbows produced 32 quarterback sacks as well.

"Our defense kept us in a lot of games this season, especially early on when we were still learning the offense," Jones said. "They made a big stand in the win over Fresno State and Coach McMackin was a key part of all of that."

Several of the players expressed their shock at McMackin's decision, but promised to play hard in the Oahu Bowl to send McMackin off to Lubbock with a victory.

Hawaii plays Oregon State on Christmas Day. Beavers head coach Dennis Erickson reportedly offered McMackin the defensive coordinator position last year, but McMackin had already decided to join Jones' staff.

McMackin served as Erickson's defensive coordinator at Miami and with the Seattle Seahawks. Last year, Seattle set the NFL record for most defensive touchdowns with 14.

UH coordinators
since 1994

Since 1994, the UH football team has had 11 offensive or defensive coordinators:


1994 -- Paul Johnson
1995 -- Bill Souza
1996 -- Guy Benjamin
1997 -- Wally English
1998 -- Don Lindsey
1999 -- Wes Suan


1994 -- Chris Smeland
1995 -- George Lumpkin
1996-97 -- Don Lindsey
1998 -- Tom Williams
1999 -- Greg McMackin

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