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Navy, agent shoot down ‘scurrilous’ Niumatalolo-to-PSU rumors

Ken Niumatalolo AP

In the month or so since Penn State fired Joe Paterno and launched its first search for a head coach since 1965, names ranging from Chris Petersen to Dan Mullen to Al Golden to Greg Schiano have been spit out of the rumor mill as potential replacements.

Apparently, another name has surfaced even as his current school is simultaneously shooting down the speculation.

It was rumored earlier in the week that Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo had been contacted by the Nittany Lions regarding the job.  In an email to the Philadelphia Inquirer, a Navy spokesperson denied that either the coach or the academy has been contacted by PSU or its representatives.

“Just talked to coach Niumatalolo and he said it wasn’t true,” athletic director for sports information Scott Strasemeier wrote to the Inquirer in an email.  “I also talked to our athletic director, Chet Gladchuk, and he said when we signed coach Niumatalolo to a long-term contract on April 21 that he said he wanted to coach at the Naval Academy for the rest of his life and there is no reason to believe that has changed.

“I can also confirm that Penn State has not contacted Navy.”

The April extension, believed to be at least seven years in length and worth at least $1.5 million annually, prompted Niumatalolo to say that “the Naval Academy has made a big-time commitment to me and I’ve made a big-time commitment to the academy [and] I could definitely see myself coaching here for a long, long time.”

Niumatalolo’s agent, Evan Beard, also shot down the rumors, telling HometownAnnpolis.com in an email, “the report on Penn State’s interest in Kenny is scurrilous. Neither side has had conversations.”

Penn State’s search, which is being handled by a six-member committee headed by athletic director David Joyner, is expected to wind to a conclusion sometime around the first week of the year at the latest.  Joyner said last week that the committee is working with a 30-day window to name a coach.

Thus far, the only confirmed interviews for the position have been interim head coach Tom Bradley and quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno, although those were believed to be nothing more than courtesy interviews as neither is viewed as a realistic replacement.

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18 Responses to “Navy, agent shoot down ‘scurrilous’ Niumatalolo-to-PSU rumors”
  1. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Dec 14, 2011 11:05 AM

    I really doubt that PSU would want to run Niumatalolo’s run oriented option offense. It’s a sad day when Penn State has trouble finding a coach. Under normal circumstances you would have people lined up at the door begging for an interview.

  2. drexelvol says: Dec 14, 2011 11:24 AM

    Niumatalolo wouldn’t necessarily bring that offense to PSU, or anywhere else if he decided to leave. Paul Johnson took elements of it to Georgia Tech, but what he runs is no where near what he ran (and what is run now) at Navy.

    There’s an offensive coordinator to deal with all of that. I mean, do you think Ken would bring the Navy 3-4, zone defense (almost prevent defense) to another school too?

    They would want him for his head coaching abilities alone.

  3. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Dec 14, 2011 11:58 AM

    @ brutusbuckeye2011

    Thanx for the positive comment about PSU’s difficult coaching search. But honestly if I were Ken I’d never leave Navy at a Max you have to win 2 games (Army & Air Force) and at a min only one (Army) to keep the fan base happy.

  4. woebegong says: Dec 14, 2011 12:04 PM

    Penn. State in the triple option. Oh yeah, that would fly like a lead balloon. You think they are losing recruits now, try to recruit for that offense.
    I hear Georgia Tech. has a triple option coach thought, they would be glad to give you, if the fans were even truthful about that. The Navy coach learned all he knows from him. If you could get him, perhaps Penn. State could get into the big east again, because their days of competing for the big ten title would surely be over.
    There is a reason that only about 5 schools in Div. I run that offensive set, and lack of athletes that could play in it, is not one of them. It is lack of athletes that want to play in it, that is the problem. It works well at the service academies, but most of the athletes they get, are serious about their studies and are just happy to be going to fine educational institutes, and playing at all. The service academies require their students to play at some level in one sport or another, and football works out great for them, if they have some skills. Truth be known also, it is probably a fast track for some of them, in coming up through the ranks. It is harder now than ever, to get the Staubachs, and Belinos to the academy life.

  5. drexelvol says: Dec 14, 2011 1:42 PM

    @cfbfaninbadnfltown – I’m part of that fan base as a season ticket holder and I can most certainly tell you that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  6. xtremesportsmaniac says: Dec 14, 2011 2:24 PM

    The Penn State job is going to be tough to fill. It’s sad for the PSU fan base but I don’t think any quality coach wants to tie their name to that football program right now.

  7. dpw52 says: Dec 14, 2011 2:57 PM

    the coaching staff is a good solid staff we have now…leave it alone. I for one would like to see this staff stay together and prove themselves.

  8. drexelvol says: Dec 14, 2011 3:01 PM

    @woebegong – Please step away from the keyboard.

  9. latrobe21 says: Dec 14, 2011 3:53 PM

    The problem with keeping Bradley (as a last resort) is that I’m sure he would feel compelled to keep Jay Paterno around. I said it before: keep Bradley, Johnson and Vanderlinden and hire an offensive-minded coach for the HC position.

  10. quizguy66 says: Dec 14, 2011 4:15 PM

    nj.com reporting Navy Heading to the Big East:

    http://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/index.ssf/2011/12/navy_to_join_big_east_athletic.html

  11. woebegong says: Dec 14, 2011 4:30 PM

    Hard to ignore history? I was born in Maryland so I know a little history about the USNA. I grew up watching Staubach and Belino. Been in the SE since about 1981, except for tours of duty in other parts of the country. Know a lot of history there also. If you need any more history, let me know.

  12. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Dec 14, 2011 6:42 PM

    @ drexelvol

    You pay for tickets that so cutie. I’ve went to the Army Navy game for a decade for free, hell if you watch the 1997 game you’ll see me on the side lines. I’ve spend my entire career working with hundreds of graduates of the academy, have met the current AD & previous one at various functions over the years.

    I can tell you one thing the alums with Stars on their collars, seats in congress or 7 figure bank accounts, don’t give a sh#% about winning records or bowl games. That crap is reserved for fans that pay for tickets like yourself or as a former graduate I knew at NASA once referred to them as “little people”. The connected academy grads that can call the AD or head coach on their cell phones directly only care about beating Army. That’s why coach Ken has the greatest job in football.

    Perhaps you have no idea what your calling about? Enjoy keeping your head in the sand.

  13. dkhhuey says: Dec 14, 2011 7:31 PM

    I could be mistaken but I really don’t think there are going to be many big time names coaches stepping up to take the job right now.

    Lou Holtz turned down the Ohio State job after Woody was fired because he refused to be the man to follow such a legend. Same thing up at PSU – you’re pretty much going to be set up to fail following Paterno – not to mention, probably highly handcuffed as to what you’re going to be able to do as a coach. All that is the PSU program is Joe Pa. Any attempts to usher in many changes will most likely be met with opposition by those in charge (big money contributors).

    Right now, the university is toxic, and the football program is a mess, current big named recruits are bailing, and future big time recruits are crossing PSU off their list. I don’t know how long this cloud will hang over PSU, but it is going to take a few years to start righting the ship. I hope they can remain competitive on the gridiron – but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are down big for the next 3 – 5 years.

  14. 10of14 says: Dec 14, 2011 8:56 PM

    Laugh……laugh hard! PSU has the most pathetic offense in the Big Ten and they diss a coach who can actually improve it?? Yes, maybe run oriented, but ask Ohio State (escaped in 2010 due to a bad call), ND and several other historic programs that faced this guy in the last few years…he’ll kick your arse! He is the perfect hire for PSU; his so-called boring option offense would score on average 3 more TD’s a game than what they have now and do so with integrity and qualified, classy assistant coaches. Unfortunately, he won’t listen to a school who would rather hire a big program name that will ultimately put the school on probation…mark my word.

  15. drexelvol says: Dec 14, 2011 9:35 PM

    @cfbfaninbadnfltown – I’m associated with a class and your statements show how clueless you really are.

    Wins fill the seats in the stadium and bowl games bring in millions. I’ll ask all the three and four stars at our tent next fall if they agree with you. I think you really know what their feelings are.

  16. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Dec 15, 2011 5:42 PM

    @ drexelvol

    Nice attempt to take some kind of moral high ground and still responded like a typical homer with no real knowledge of the athletics department.

    Trying to bring up money as if the rules that apply to the rest of D-1 programs apply to a service academy, there’s a reason why the team can afford to play in Ireland and it has nothing to do with season ticket holders, quit responding it only shows how little you actually know, tell you what I’ll ask the AD next time I see him.

  17. corvusrex96 says: Dec 15, 2011 8:09 PM

    Football aside living in Annapolis is MUCH better than living in central PA.

  18. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Dec 15, 2011 11:49 PM

    @ corvusrex96

    Unless you consider taxes, big difference between a Million dollars in PA verse a Million dollars in MD.

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