Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo out as candidate for Arizona job

Ken Niumatalolo turns down Arizona job staying at Navy

Ken Niumatalolo turns down Arizona job staying at Navy

A disciple of longtime Arizona coach Dick Tomey, Niumatalolo, 52, is a strong proponent of a run-oriented option offense that has made the academy a strong program, year in and year out, evidenced by the fact the Midshipmen have qualified for bowls in nine of his 10 seasons.

Niumatalolo released a statement to the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Maryland: "After much prayer and pondering, it has become crystal clear that USNA is a special place with special people, and I love it here".

Ken Niumatalolo received a ringing endorsement from colleague Matt Rhule as he vies for the Arizona Wildcats head coaching job.

Niumatalolo has been extremely successful in his time at Navy. Niumatalolo had traveled to interview at Arizona late last week, and Gladchuk told The Washington Post in a text message Saturday that before their evening meeting, Niumatalolo and Gladchuk had only texted about the situation with little detail.

Arizona's coaching search is going on two weeks.

Arizona now must turn its attention elsewhere in a coaching search that's approaching two weeks after the January 2 firing of Rich Rodriguez.

Niumatalolo's decision means he'll return to Navy for his 11th season.

Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports first reported the news. He led Navy to wins over rival Army in each of his first eight seasons, and the Midshipmen's 49-7 win over Virginia in the Military Bowl on December 28 was the program's largest margin of victory over a Power 5 team since 1963.

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