BALTIMORE, Md. (WMAR) - He has led the Navy Midshipmen for the past ten seasons. After some nervous days in Annapolis there will be an eleventh.
Ken Niumatalolo is staying on the Navy sideline.
The Mids' all-time winningest coach interviewed for the vacant head coaching job at the University of Arizona last week. Reports out of Tucson suggested he was offered the Wildcats gig on Friday. It was up in the air as recently as Saturday as to whether the 52-year-old would in fact accept the challenge of coaching at a bigger school, in a better conference with a fatter checkbook. But he turned down that opportunity.
Niumatalolo released the following statement:
“After much prayer and pondering . . . it has become crystal clear the USNA is a special place with special people and I LOVE IT HERE!!! Plus I have unfinished business to finish . . . ”
This is the second time in just over two years that Niumatalolo, a devout Morman, has chosen to return to the Naval Academy instead of jumping ship. Back in December of 2015 he debated whether or not to take the head coaching job at Bringham Young before deciding to return to Annapolis.
Niumatalolo has coached the Midshipmen to unprecedented success over the last decade.
Nine bowl game appearances.
Five Commander-in-Chief's Trophies as winners of a season's series with the other Military Academies.