Arizona QB Khalil Tate can breathe a little easier. Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo won’t be Arizona’s next coach.
Niumatalolo was considered to be a strong candidate for the opening with the Wildcats, but Sunday morning reports emerged that he was no longer in contention for the job. In a text with an ESPN reporter, Niumatalolo confirmed he was staying at Navy. From ESPN:
“After much prayer and pondering, it has become crystal clear the USNA is a special place with special people and I LOVE IT HERE!!!” he texted on Sunday. “Plus I have unfinished business to finish.”
Tate, Arizona’s star quarterback who averaged over nine yards a carry in 2017, tweeted Friday that he didn’t come to Arizona to run the triple option. The triple option is the offense Navy has run under Niumatalolo and has similarities to the offense Tate ran at Arizona this past season under previous coach Rich Rodriguez.
Arizona is looking for a coach after the school fired Rodriguez earlier in the month. Rodriguez was fired after an investigation into allegations of harassment against him. While the school said it didn’t find anything to corroborate the initial allegations because of the accuser’s unwillingness to cooperate with the school, it said it found other information that led it to decide to part ways with Rodriguez.
His accuser has filed a multi-million dollar claim against him through the Arizona attorney general’s office. The woman accuses him of sexual harassment and promoting a hostile work environment, including at one point having her stand between Rodriguez’s wife and mistress. The former Arizona coach has admitted to having an affair.
Niumatalolo has been extremely successful in his time at Navy. Since taking over for Paul Johnson when Johnson went to Georgia Tech, Niumatalolo has racked up an 84-48 record with the Midshipmen.
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