24/06/2024

Navy's Ken Niumatalolo emerges as strong candidate for Arizona Wildcats football job

Viernes 12 de Enero del 2018

Navy's Ken Niumatalolo emerges as strong candidate for Arizona Wildcats football job

The longtime coach of the Midshipmen is a native of Hawaii and a disciple of Dick Tomey.

The longtime coach of the Midshipmen is a native of Hawaii and a disciple of Dick Tomey.

Ken Niumatalolo was unexpectedly absent from the Navy football offices today, fueling strong speculation that he will be the next coach of the Arizona Wildcats.

Niumatalolo, a disciple of former UA coach Dick Tomey, is believed to be interviewing and is considered one of the finalists.

A native of Hawaii, Niumatalolo has been the head coach at Navy for the past 10 years. The Midshipmen have gone 84-47 during that span, qualifying for a bowl game in all but one season.

Niumatalolo, 52, played quarterback at Hawaii and coached for three seasons at UNLV before becoming an assistant at Navy. He has been linked to precious few jobs during his time at Navy; two years ago, he interviewed for a BYU opening that went to Kalani Sitake.

Like the other service academies, Navy runs the option. One of the big questions if Niumatalolo gets the UA job is whether he would bring that system with him or tweak it to suit the talents of Arizona’s players, including star quarterback Khalil Tate.

One other coach believed to have made a strong impression on UA athletic director Dave Heeke is Jedd Fisch, who spent last season as the offensive coordinator at UCLA. Fisch isn’t expected to be retained by new Bruins coach Chip Kelly. The 41-year-old Fisch has extensive NFL experience and runs more of a pro-style scheme. Before UCLA, Fisch was the passing-game coordinator under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan.

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