ANNAPOLIS, Md. — After interviewing for the recent head coaching vacancy at BYU, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo will stay at the service academy, athletic director Chet Gladchuk confirmed to Annapolis media Wednesday evening.
Niumatalolo flew to Salt Lake International Airport on Sunday evening and met with BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe by Monday, but no previous conversations had taken place between the two sides. The Hawaii-born head coach had just led Navy to its 14th-straight win over rival Army and insisted he needed to "hear what (BYU) had to say" as a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The conversations intensified, but it now appears Niumatalolo will stay put at the academy. He has a 67-37 all-time record with the No. 21 Midshipmen, who will appear in their eighth bowl game under Niumatalolo in the Military Bowl against Pittsburgh on Dec. 28.
Here's how the news slowly spread around the media. Washington Post beat writer Gene Wang confirmed the news first, but only by seconds of his fellow reporters before it was quickly acknowledged officially by Navy football.
Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo is staying at Navy. Just got the word from athletic director Chet Gladchuk!!— Bill Wagner (@BWagner_CapGaz) December 17, 2015
A devout Mormon, Niumatalolo's son Va'a is a sophomore linebacker at BYU, but Ken Niumatalolo and his wife Barbara raised their three children on the east coast, which included multiple positions of leadership in the Broadneck ward in Annapolis. The family was also featured prominently in last summer's church-produced documentary "Meet the Mormons."
Now BYU moves on to other candidates, which must be active members of the church. Oregon State defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake is considered to be among the frontrunners to replace new Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall, but names like Utah's Kyle Whittingham and Stanford's Lance Anderson are also reportedly being considered.