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a case for Ken Niumatalolo

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by stampy, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

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    I think a strong argument could be made that the best coaching hire of the last two years was Paul Johnson. Despite all the questions regarding whether the option could succeed in a BCS conference, Georgia Tech was one of the most surprising teams of 08, and they are proving this year is that 08 was no fluke.

    After Johnson's departure from Navy, Niumatalolo did not allow Navy to skip a beat. They went 8-5 in 08, and are 6-2 so far this season, the only losses being at Pitt and at Ohio State (which they only lost by four points).

    This guy could bring a clear identity to our offense which I think would compliment the current roster well. He is Polynesian, and CU has a rich history of great Polynesian players (and being a minority would play well in Boulder). He understands academic importance, and brings no baggage.

    The entire conference is now pass-oriented. Defensive recruiting, scheming, etc. is geared toward stopping the pass. This offense would be something entirely different that every DC would have to start from scratch to prepare a gameplan.

    Finally, this is a guy that CU could probably actually get.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Fun. My issue: recruiting. I don't see this guy being able to recruit top level talent on his own, and unlike Johnson will not be in the talent rich south. Further, I don't see or know of top level assistants (on the offensive side especially) that would want to run under him. Who does he know (and who could we get) on the defensive side to handle the recruiting there? I just don't see him succeeding long term unless we stock the assistant cupboard.
     
  3. The Guest

    The Guest Guest

    I struggle to pronounce his last name.
     
  4. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    you struggle to do many things. :smile2:
     
  5. Creebuzz

    Creebuzz Club Member Club Member

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    Here's the Bio.

    Ken Niumatalolo (born May 8, 1965) is the 38th head football coach of the Navy Midshipmen. He is the second person of Polynesian descent to be named head coach of a NCAA Division I FBS college football program and the first Samoan collegiate head coach on any level.[1] He is also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons. Niumatalolo played college football at Hawaiʻi; as a quarterback he led the then-Rainbows to their first postseason bowl game in 1989.[2]

    Niumatalolo was a star in both football and basketball at Radford High School in Honolulu, graduating in 1983. He went on to play the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, eventually becoming the Rainbows (now the Warriors) starting quarterback after serving a two-year religious mission. During his time with the Rainbows, he ran an option-oriented offense under the direction of Paul Johnson, who was then the offensive coordinator.[3]

    Niumatalolo stayed on at Hawaiʻi after his graduation, taking a position as a graduate assistant under Johnson. By 1992, he had been elevated to a full-time assistant position.[1]

    When Johnson left Hawaiʻi to become the offensive coordinator at Navy in 1995, he took Niumatalolo with him as his running backs coach. The following season, he was elevated to offensive coordinator after Johnson left to take the head coaching job at Georgia Southern. Notably, while offensive coordinator at Navy, he tutored quarterback Chris McCoy, who set a Division I-A record in 1997 for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 20,[4] a record that would be broken in 2007 by Florida's Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.

    In 1999, Niumatalolo left Annapolis to become an assistant at UNLV. While there, he called the plays and also worked with the kickoff return unit.[4]

    "Coach Ken" returned to Navy in 2002 when he was hired by Johnson, who had just taken over the head coaching job at Annapolis, as his offensive line coach.[4] Niumatalolo's work helped Navy establish a rushing attack that led NCAA Division I-A/FBS in yards per game in four of his first five seasons since he returned to Annapolis, including an unprecedented three consecutive seasons leading the nation in that category (2004 through 2006). In 2008, Navy averaged 292.4 yards per game on the ground, leading the nation for the fourth straight year in the category.[5] This rushing game has helped Navy football reach a level of success it had not seen in decades:
    • Navy went 45-29 under Johnson, including 43-19 since 2003.[5]
    • The Midshipmen began a streak of bowl game appearances in 2003 that continues today.[6][5]
    • In 2004, the Midshipmen had their first 10-win season in nearly a century.[7]
    • They have won the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, the annual football trophy contested by Navy, Army, and Air Force, in each season since 2003. The 2006 first-class midshipmen (seniors, Class of 2007) went 8–0 against the other academies during their careers at Navy.[8] The Class of 2009 repeated this achievement during the 2008 season with the 7th straight victory over Army and the 6th straight victory over Air Force.
    • Perhaps most important to Annapolis graduates, the Midshipmen have won seven straight Army–Navy Games for the first time ever.[5] This also is the longest winning streak for either side in the rivalry.
    • Highlights in 2008 included a huge upset in Winston-Salem over then #16-ranked Wake Forest, 24-17, which was the Mids' first victory over a ranked team in 23 years, as well their 34-0 shutout victory of Army in the 2008 Army-Navy game.
    Longtime Navy assistant head coach Ken Niumatalolo was promoted to head football coach at the Naval Academy on December 8 by Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk after Paul Johnson departed for Georgia Tech.[2] Niumatalolo, age 42, is the 38th head football coach in Naval Academy history. On January 7, 2009, Niumatalolo was given a contract extension, although terms of the contract, or the length of the extension, were not released.[9]
    He is the second Polynesian head coach in NCAA Division IA history (Larry Price, who was the head coach at Hawai'i from 1974-76 was the first) and the first Samoan collegiate head coach on any level.
     
    stampy likes this.
  6. Creebuzz

    Creebuzz Club Member Club Member

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    Seems to be pretty risky in terms of experience...1 year as an OC and now 1 year as a HC. Would a mormon fit in Boulder? I guess Mac was pretty religious and he worked out ok for us.
     
  7. HotRack

    HotRack Rez BubbleHead Club Member

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    'Rus...

    New-may-OUGHT-ah-lo-lo...2 years stationed in Hawai'i, what can I say? I learned how to speak Hawaiian. What it means, I have no ****ing idea.

    Going Deep....
     
  8. Buff fanatic

    Buff fanatic Well-Known Member

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    If he struggled, the Denver Post could run a story about how hard it is for all 9 of his wives.... :lol:
     
  9. TheRoyale90

    TheRoyale90 Member

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    I'd love to see this guy or Calhoun at CU. Coaching at one of the service academies is one of the hardest jobs in football because their recruiting base is incredibly limited. The fact that they've had success is testament to their coaching ability.
     
  10. aik

    aik Club Member Club Member

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    Yes on this point. But would need excellent assistants to compensate. Cabral is the closest CU has to a lock to stay on staff. Hagan too? Brown? I'd worry about keeping these guys on with Ken at the helm and getting other top assistants to ignore TABOR and come to Boulder.
     
  11. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    If we went this route, maybe they'd keep Collins on as DC? Personally, I don't think his playcalling is aggressive enough, and he can't recruit a safety to save his life, but like you say, could Niumatalolo attract anyone else?

    Calhoun understands the running game, and maybe has more connections.
     
  12. GoldenBuff

    GoldenBuff Club Member Club Member

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    All of this talk about Calhoun has me wondering. Should we target their women's basketball coach if KMM doesn't work out? What about for golf or volleyball? Everyone needs to be considered on an individual basis but taking two coaches from two different sports from the same school in less than 5 years would seem a bit sketchy. Just sayin'...
     
  13. White_Rabbit

    White_Rabbit Club Member Club Member

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    I guess I don't really understand everyone's fixation with the option offense. Sure it would be annoying for other teams to have to play against, but at the same time for our own defense, practicing against the option all day probably wouldn't be beneficial to them to being a good defense vs a spread offense on gameday.

    jmo
     
  14. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    Isn't that what the scout team is for?

    I don't care if it's option football or not. I just want us to pound the damn rock. We'll never have the horses to beat OU or UT at airing it out. May as well admit that and move on to the next idea.

    Not sure Calhoun would stick with the option if he came to CU. I think maybe he runs it at AF because it's the only way to compete there.

    For any number of reasons, I don't think we're ever going to out-recruit the national elite, or Pac-10 teams when it comes to big-time QB's. There are only so many of those guys to go around, and we're way down in the pecking order. We can't even keep a guy like Hinder from running off to Cal. We do have a pretty good record of bringing in big time RB's, and OL talent. Why not build on that?
     
  15. Nor Cal Buff

    Nor Cal Buff Well-Known Member

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    You do know that Hinder's grandpa was a Cal great, right?
     
  16. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    Jim Hanifan? Yes. You think that was the only factor in his decision?
     
  17. PAHIBuff

    PAHIBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Just guessing, but a second factor might have been the QB-destroying coaching staff that is currently sucking up precious salary dollars at the Dal Ward Center. If I had a top recruit high school QB for a son right now, I would not only discourage him from talking to CU, I would ridicule him if he did. (Then I'd very nicely talk him out of it.)

    :argh: :huh: :smile:
     
  18. aik

    aik Club Member Club Member

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    No Collins. All the Boise guys will get thrown in the same lifeboat with Hawkins in the house cleaning. That includes Riddle, Bandison and Pitman.
     
  19. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    That's why I'd be concerned about bringing in Niumatalolo. Not sure his sphere of influence includes the kind of AC's we need. The Big XII is a rough place for inexperienced coordinators. As we found out with Collins/Helfrich/Kiesau... Nope. Not a good place for OTJ training.

    I guess if it came down to it, anyone is better than who we have right now. I just don't want the AD to make the same mistakes over again.
     
  20. aik

    aik Club Member Club Member

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    UNLV and Hawaii being past stops for him. Assuming McMackin and Sanford both get the axe this year, does KN have connections to them and their staffs?I wouldn't want them here.
     
  21. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    Nailed it. He doesn't have major conference or NFL connections. We'd be fishing in the shallow end of the talent pool again for assistants.
     
  22. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

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    Exihibit A; #11 Georgia Tech
    http://www.dailypress.com/sports/virginia-tech/dp-spt_johnson_1016oct16,0,2443519.story

    If you are a believer in the importance of time of possession as a defensive advantage, it should be lopsided with an option attack in a conference dominated by passing offenses.
     
  23. White_Rabbit

    White_Rabbit Club Member Club Member

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    I am a believer in time of possession making your offense better, however I am not a believer that the option offense makes your defense better. Running the ball is running the ball, you don't have to run the option to be able to control the clock.

    GT has a notoriously terrible defense this year. Don't get me wrong, I think Paul Johnson is an incredible coach, but that doesn't mean Niumatalolo is. Everyone has hated on all of these inexperienced small conference guys and for good reason, but Niumatalolo gets a pass because he runs the option?
     
  24. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    love PJ's offense... don't really like the coaching tree for the big XII tho.
     
  25. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

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    There is current hating on small conference coaches only because Hawkins is a small conference coach, but anyone who turns that into a blanket example should read the bios of Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel.

    I'm not sold 100% on this guy either, but the Johnson hire and his offense has been enormously successful, this is his protege, and I like the prospect of re-introducing the option to the foothills.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  26. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

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    OK. Hypothetically if you had to choose a coach to implement an option attack, and PJ is not an option, who would you choose?
     
  27. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Frank Solich obvi :smile2:
     
  28. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    Calhoun. I think he has a broader base to draw from when it comes to hiring AC's.
     
  29. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

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    I like Calhoun mucho, I would have no problem with that hire. BUT for what it's worth, he is 0-3 against Navy and 0-2 against Niumatalolo.

    The problem with assistant hires is you never know which way a candidate would lean, buddies or veterans. I assume that is part of the vetting process for the AD.
     
  30. CUwhit21

    CUwhit21 Club Member Club Member

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    Calhoun is an Air Force alum. I'd be surprised to see him leave for CU.
     

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