Southern Methodist coach June Jones is resigning, his agent, Leigh Steinberg, announced on Twitter.
The school later issued a press release confirming the news. SMU athletics director Rick Hart named associate head coach/defensive coordinator Tom Mason head coach for the rest of this season and said Jones' decision to step down was "his own."
"This afternoon, I talked to my staff and players and notified them that I have decided to resign as SMU head football coach effective immediately," said Jones. "It was a very difficult decision for me to make, as you can imagine. I have devoted my life for the last 50 years to playing and coaching this game and it has been a great journey. This job has a lot of demands, as you know, and along with that journey comes a price that is paid. I have some personal issues I have been dealing with and I need to take a step away so I can address them at this time.
"We have some talented and really good kids, who just happen to be young. Tom Mason will take over the head coaching duties. Tom has done a great job with the defense since coming to SMU. This being a bye week will give all the coaches and players a chance to evaluate themselves and make the changes needed for their preparation in getting ready for the next couple games and conference play the rest of the way. I would like to thank all the people here at SMU that have supported the vision we have had here. I feel we have made SMU relevant again in football by going to four bowls in my six years as a Mustang. I am very thankful for the opportunity I was given and wish only the best for the players, coaches and administration at SMU."
The Mustangs went 36-43 and qualified for a bowl game four times in six-plus seasons under Jones.
SMU hired the 61-year-old in January 2008, after he coached nine seasons at Hawaii. In December, Jones signed a three-year contract extension with the program running through 2017. He reportedly earned an average of $2 million annually.
The Mustangs have been outscored 88-6 in losses to Baylor and North Texas to open this season.
- Chris Johnson