Ken Niumatalolo Staying At Navy
After being rumored for the Arizona head coaching job, Ken Niumatalolo is staying at Navy.
It looked like it was going to be one of the most fun coaching hires of the offseason. Ken Niumatalolo and Khalil Tate? The rushing numbers for the Arizona Wildcats would’ve been off the charts.
But Niumatalolo is staying put in Annapolis, and now Arizona is scrambling for its next head coach to replace Rich Rodriguez. So now what?
Navy gets to keep its head man who’s more than good enough to be coaching at the Power Five level, and Arizona is left scrambling just a few short weeks away from the other National Signing Day this year.
All eyes now turn to former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin.
Current assistant Marcel Yates is deep in the mix – he’s, apparently, Tate’s main choice to keep everything going, but players always love to keep around their top coaches they know. But Sumlin is the bigger name with the right offense and right system to work in the Pac-12.
A&M might have struggled on defense, but Arizona is used to that. Get the offense going, and the Cats should be able to keep up with anyone in the conference. But is that good enough? It’s not like Sumlin has ever won anything big.
Cal offensive coordinator and former Eastern Washington head coach Beau Baldwin would be an interesting choice – he gave the Pac-12 fits for years at EWU.
Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford would be an easy option, but he’s not currently being looked at, and former Arizona State head man Todd Graham wouldn’t exactly go over well.
Troy head man Neal Brown would be an inspired choice, but he’s out. Les Miles, WKU head coach Mike Sanford and former UCLA head man Rick Neuheisel are names at least being thrown into the bucket.
The fan base – from all indications – seemed to like the idea of Niumatalolo, and Sumlin would be the choice who instantly provides a national boost to the program’s profile. But Yates is still a 50/50 shot to get the gig.
Best guess on the top finalists for the Arizona head coaching job? 1. Sumlin, 2. Yates, 3. Sanford, 4. Baldwin, 5. Graham