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San Jose State hires former Navy football coach Ken Niumatalolo to lead program

Game Day: San Jose State football excited for trip to Hawaii
Game Day: San Jose State football excited for trip to Hawaii 01:54

San Jose State has hired former Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo to replace Brent Brennan as the Spartans head coach.

Athletic director Jeff Konya announced the hiring on Sunday, saying Niumatalolo is the "right fit" for San Jose State and can make the Spartans consistent contenders in the Mountain West.

"We are thrilled that Coach Niumatalolo has accepted the opportunity to lead our football program," Konya said in a statement. "He is a proven winner and brought the Naval Academy to unprecedented heights by winning eight or more games in nine seasons during his tenure. It's impressive when you see that he had success against national brands like Notre Dame, Virginia, Kansas State and Pittsburgh, and even finished ranked inside the top 25 twice."

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Ken Niumatalolo. AP Photo/John Raoux, File

Niumatalolo is the winningest coach in Navy history, going 109-83 in 15 seasons before being fired after the 2022 game against Army. During his time with the Midshipmen, Navy ran the triple-option offense. Niumatalolo has said that if he got another chance to be a head coach, he would likely move away from the run-heavy scheme.

Niumatalolo spent last season at UCLA in an off-field role for Bruins coach Chip Kelly, but was elevated to tight ends coach after the season.

San Jose State needed a replacement for Brennan, who took the Arizona job after seven seasons with the Spartans. Brennan's teams reached bowl games in three of the last four seasons and finished 7-6 in 2023.

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