ken niumatalolo - podcast article

Inside the Headset: Ken Niumatalolo [PODCAST]

On this special Memorial Day edition of Inside the Headset, we speak with Navy Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo and AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry about the uniqueness of coaching at a service academy and what this day means to them.

Coach Niumatalolo got his start in the profession as a graduate assistant for the University of Hawaii before being named a full-time assistant (1990-1994). He then joined the staff at Navy as a running backs coach (1995-1996) prior to becoming the offensive coordinator (1997-1998). Niumatalolo spent two years at UNLV working with the tight ends and serving as the special teams coordinator (1999-2001) before returning to Navy in 2002 to coach the offensive line and serve as the assistant head coach. He was named head coach of the Midshipmen in 2007.

  • [0:24] Start of interview
  • [0:44] Difficulties and rewards of coaching at a service academy
  • [3:22] Swim requirements & spring football
  • [5:44] Recruiting for Navy football
  • [7:15] “Undersized” linemen and chips on shoulders
  • [9:05] Uniqueness of Army vs. Navy
  • [10:47] Signing athletes post-9/11
  • [14:10] Remembering those that paid the ultimate sacrifice
  • [15:57] Family atmosphere and longevity as a staff
  • [22:44] Speaking at AFCA Convention

You can follow Coach Niumatalolo on Twitter.

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Coach Berry’s career began with stops at Tennessee (1983), Tulsa (1984), and Oklahoma State (1985). He was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for UT Martin (1986-1988), wide receivers coach for Mississippi State (1989), offensive coordinator for SE Missouri State (1991), and the offensive coordinator for East Carolina (1992-1995). Berry was the head coach for Illinois State (1996-1999) prior to serving as the head coach of Army from 2000-2003. He was the offensive coordinator for Louisiana-Monroe (2004-2005), quarterbacks coach for Miami (2006), and assistant head coach for UNLV (2007-2009). Coach Berry’s was the head coach at Louisiana-Monroe from 2010-2015, before being named the AFCA’s Executive Director in 2016.

  • [24:42] Start of interview
  • [25:05] Impact of relationships with players
  • [26:55] Unique experiences at Army
  • [36:42] Greatest lesson learned from athletics
  • [39:09] Lunch with President George W. Bush

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