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 June Jones is giving up the paradise of Hawaii for the daunting task of trying to restore SMU to football respectability.
Jones, who coached Hawaii to an unbeaten regular season, withstood an emotional plea from Warriors fans as well as the governor and decided Monday it was time to head back to the mainland. He has agreed to a 5-year deal with SMU, which will pay him about $2 million a year, agent Leigh Steinberg said.
Jones was touched by the outpouring of support from Hawaii fans, including Gov. Linda Lingle, but he was ultimately lured by SMU's facilities and bigger budget. Jones called Hawaii officials Monday to tell them of his decision.
``In 30 years representing athletes, I've never seen the emotional reaction from a state like Hawaii,'' Steinberg said. ``There was a flood of e-mails and calls exhorting him to stay.''
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