Former Hawaii coach June Jones went across the country to find his newest coaching opportunity, but the Warriors may not have to look as far for their next football coach.
Hawaii, which had its coaching job come open when Jones left on Jan. 7 to accept SMU's coaching vacancy, would like to fill its coaching position by next week.
ESPN's Joe Schad reports that two sources briefed on Hawaii's plans to replace Jones said current defensive coordinator Greg McMackin is a strong leading candidate to fill Jones' post.
McMackin is expected to soon decide between staying at Hawaii or heading to SMU as Jones' defensive coordinator.
McMackin was named as Hawaii's defensive coordinator in April of 2007, returning to a position he held in 1999. He succeeded Jerry Glanville, who left to become Portland State's coach.
McMackin helped the Warriors win a share of the Western Athletic Conference title during coach June Jones' first year at Hawaii. The defense finished the season 35th in the nation that year, compared to 109th in 1998.
Hawaii's defense was ranked 34th overall last season as Hawaii went 12-0 in the regular season and claimed its first outright WAC title before being crushed by Georgia in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Prior to returning to Hawaii last season, McMackin's last job in football was as the San Francisco 49ers' linebackers coach from 2003-05. Before that, he was the defensive coordinator for three seasons at Texas Tech.
Before joining Hawaii in 1999, he was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks and several colleges including Miami, Navy, Utah and Idaho.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.