June Jones, former head coach of the University of Hawai’i football team, and architect of one of the most impressive turnarounds in NCAA football history, will be honored in San Francisco on May 1 with the Sixth Annual Kulia I Ka Nu’u Award. Event website here.
This coveted award is given by the Hawai’i Chamber of Commerce of Northern California to recognize leaders and role models with ties to the Islands who have contributed to Hawai’i in significant ways. The award is bestowed at the annual Five Star awards gala benefiting the Chamber’s scholarship program. Past award winners include Mary Bitterman, Ka’ala Carmack, Vernon Chang, Sam Choy, former Judge William Fernandez, Saichi Kawahara, Patrick Makuakane, Sara Sato, Takahashi Market, and Wally Yonamine.
When Jones joined UH as head coach in December 1998, the Warriors had lost 18 games in a row. In 1999, he turned around their season to 9-4. Under Jones, the Warriors broke 380 school and 45 NCAA records. In nine years, Jones had seven winning seasons and led the team to more victories than any other UH coach. In 2007 the Warriors were undefeated in the regular season and won their first invitation to a Bowl Championship Series bowl.
Throughout his tenure in Hawai’i, Jones made it a priority to recruit local players and coaching staff. At UH, he coached six All-Americans, 56 all-conference performers and 16 NFL draft picks. Jones is currently head coach of Southern Methodist University.
Jones’ award will be presented by Allan K. Ikawa, founder of Big Island Candies, internationally renowned for its premium, chocolate-dipped confections and cookies. The Hilo, Hawaii-based industry leader and philanthropist has been recognized with numerous national and local awards, including the June Jones Foundation Humanitarian Award in 2004 and the UH-Manoa Distinguished Alumni award. He is a member of the University of Hawai’i Board of Regents and has served a term as chair.
Master of Ceremonies will be Northern California television ABC7 Sports Anchor Larry Beil, former ESPN SportsCenter and KGMB9 (Honolulu) anchor, and University of Hawai`i Alumnus.
Major event sponsors include Bank of Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines, Westin St. Francis Hotel, Big Island Candies and Rainbowtique.
The Hawai’i Chamber of Commerce of Northern California, established in 1999, is a community-based nonprofit with more than 2,000 individual members and 40 business supporters. Its focus has been to serve as a resource bridge between Hawai’i and Northern California. HCCNC supports former Hawai’i residents doing business in Northern California; Hawai’i businesses seeking to expand business opportunities in Northern California and the Mainland; and Northern California individuals and businesses seeking to expand business opportunities in Hawai’i.