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McMackin Selected As Hawaii Head Football Coach

Courtesy University of Hawai'i
January 16, 2008

Greg McMackin has been named the head coach of the University of Hawai'i football program, UH Manoa chancellor Virginia S. Hinshaw announced during a Wednesday morning press conference at the Stan Sheriff Center. McMackin becomes the program's 21st head coach and replaces June Jones, who guided the Warriors for nine years before announcing his resignation last week.

"I am honored and very humbled to accept the head coaching position at the University of Hawai'i," McMackin said. "June Jones can never be replaced. He has done so many great things for the program, the university and the state of Hawai'i and his legacy will never be forgotten. My destiny is to keep the program headed in that same direction and to maintain the continuity with our current players and recruiting base."

McMackin served two stints as the Warriors' defensive coordinator in 1999 and 2007, the latter of which UH improved from 93rd nationally in total defense to 33rd. The Warriors captured the WAC Championship both years, including this past year's perfect 12-0 regular season and trip to the Allstate Sugar Bowl, McMackin's 12th bowl appearance. Under his tutelage, the UH defense ranked fifth nationally in tackles-for-loss, ninth in sacks, and 11th in interceptions while recording five defensive touchdowns.

In McMackin's first stint, the Warriors finished 9-4, won the Jeep O'ahu Bowl and became the NCAA's all-time turnaround team after a winless 0-12 season the year prior. His defense, which improved from 109th to 35th nationally, accounted for five touchdowns, 17 interceptions, 33 sacks and 17 fumble recoveries.

"Greg meets our top priorities as a coach - he is a demonstrated leader who has significant coaching experience, the ability to produce successful student-athletes, a full appreciation of the special connection between UH athletics and the people of Hawai'i and the capacity to lead a smooth transition for current team members and coaches," Hinshaw said.

"I have so many people to thank including President (David) McClain, Chancellor Hinshaw, Na Koa and all the people who supported me, from the fans to the boosters," McMackin said. "But the main people I'd like to thank are the players, who this program is all about. They're the ones who went 12-0 and got us to the Sugar Bowl."

Prior to joining the Warrior staff during his second go-around, McMackin spent three years with the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers as associate head coach and linebackers coach under Dennis Erickson from 2003-05.

In 2000, McMackin left UH to take the defensive coordinator position at Texas Tech, where he spent three years as one of the nation's top coaches by American Football Magazine. In 2001 he was named the Big 12 Conference's top recruiter by His defense made an immediate impact as the Red Raiders finished the 2000 campaign ranked sixth nationally in pass defense and 10th in pass efficiency defense.

Prior to joining UH in 1999, McMackin was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks for four seasons under Erickson, where he coached 10 All-Pro selections. The Seahawks recorded an NFL-record 14 defensive touchdowns in 1998 while establishing a franchise-best seven interceptions in one game. During his first three seasons in Seattle, the defense jumped from 30th to eighth while the pass defense improved from 30th to sixth.

McMackin spent the 1993 and 1994 seasons at Miami (Fla.), also coached by Erickson. The team won two Big East Championships and ranked first in the nation in total defense, scoring defense and pass defense.

Prior to Miami, he spent one year with Navy in 1992 and two years with Utah from 1990-91. He helped improve the Ute defense from 106th nationally to first in the Western Athletic Conference in 1990, while his defense led the WAC in five categories.

McMackin's first head coaching stint was at Oregon Tech from 1986-90, where he also served as assistant athletics director. The team enjoyed four winning seasons and established 48 school and 18 national records. Oregon Tech advanced to the national championship playoffs and semifinals and was ranked third nationally during his tenure. McMackin earned Coach of the Year honors twice and coached the first two Oregon Tech football players drafted by the NFL.

His first taste of professional football came during the 1985 season when he served as assistant coach for the Denver Gold of the USFL, coached by former UH assistant Mouse Davis, widely regarded as the inventor of the Run-and-Shoot offense. Denver ranked first in the Western Conference in defense and led the USFL in interceptions.

McMackin served as linebackers coach for one season at Stanford under head coach Jack Elway, where the rushing defense ranked among the nation's best in 1984.

In 1979, he began a five-season stint at San Jose State, helping the team to two conference titles while coaching three NFL Draft picks and eight players who played professionally.

McMackin also served as defensive coordinator at Idaho for three seasons. While at UI, his team ranked second in the nation in quarterback sacks and improved its pass defense from last to first in the Big Sky Conference.

McMackin began his coaching career as an offensive backfield coach at Arizona in 1968 and moved on to Aloha High School in Beaverton, Ore., where he was as an assistant coach and head coach for three seasons. He then moved on to Western Oregon State College for three seasons as defensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and assistant professor in physical education.

McMackin earned his bachelor of science degree at Southern Oregon College and his masters of education at Arizona. He is a published author having written "Coaching the Defensive Backfield" in 1992, which is in its eighth printing, and has had several articles published in national coaching publications. He is a member of the National Football League Coaches Association and the American Football Coaches Association.

McMackin and his wife, Heather, have a daughter, Shannon, and two grandchildren, Kayla and Taylor.

McMackin's File
Age: 58
Date of Birth: April 24, 1949
Hometown: Springfield, OR
Alma Mater: Southern Oregon (1969)

Playing Experience:
Southern Oregon (DB), 1965-69

Coaching Experience:

2007 Hawai'i Defensive Coordinator
2003-05 San Francisco 49ers Associate Head Coach, Linebacker Coach
2000-02 Texas Tech Associate Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator
1999 Hawai`i Defensive Coordinator
1995-98 Seattle Seahawks Defensive Coordinator
1993-94 Miami (Fla.) Defensive Coordinator
1992-93 Navy Defensive Coordinator
1990-92 Utah Defensive Coordinator
1986-90 Oregon Tech Head Coach, Assistant Athletics Director
1985-86 Denver Gold (USFL) Secondary Coach
1984-85 Stanford Linebackers Coach
1978-84 San Jose State Recruiting Coordinator/Secondary
1976-78 Idaho Defensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator/Secondary/Linebacker
1973-76 Western Oregon State Defensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator
1969-73 Aloha High School Head Coach/Assistant Coach
1968-69 Arizona Graduate Assistant

What They're Saying...
"I'm excited for Greg, the staff and the players to be able to continue some of the things we started. It was the right decision and happy Carl, Virginia and David were able to expedite the process and be able to maintain some consistency. Greg will do a great job. He has a lot of good young players coming back and can put his touch on the entire team this Spring."
June Jones
Southern Methodist University, Head Coach

"He's one of my closest friends and he worked for me at a number of different places (San Francisco, Seattle, and Miami). The University of Hawai`i is very fortunate to have him. I'm excited because he really deserves this opportunity. He served as my defensive coordinator at Seattle and Miami. We always had one of the top defenses at Miami and had a great defense with the Seahawks as well. Not only is he a great defensive coach, he's an outstanding football coach. He has great knowledge of the game and will be a great leader."
Dennis Erickson
Arizona State University, Head Coach

"Greg's a great coach and will do a tremendous job with the program. I know he has strong feelings with the state of Hawai`i and the university. He's a great candidate and I'm sure the people there will be very happy. Greg has a great mind for defense which is very critical. But the best thing he does is the way he handles his players."
Mike Leach
Texas Tech University, Head Coach

"Greg is what you're looking for in a human being. He's a great guy who has outstanding values and the university could not have picked a better man. We've been buddies since our days as high school coaches and Greg coached for me with the Denver Gold in the USFL. We've been close for a long time and he's been a part of the family, so to speak. He's probably as good a coach as they could have selected just to keep the continuity with the players and coaches. I'm happy for him."
Mouse Davis
Portland State University, Offensive Coordinator

"We've been good friends for some time. Greg is a great staff person and real team player. Anyone would be pleased to have him represent their university. He was our defensive coordinator here at Texas Tech and I really enjoyed his time here. He did an outstanding job and I know he'll represent the University of Hawai`i in a classy manner. He's a good recruiter and has outstanding relationships with his kids. He will recruit not only good players but good people. I'm confident he will continue the great tradition your program has built there."
Gerald Myers
Texas Tech University, Director of Athletics


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