PROVO, Utah — As Brigham Young University searches for a replacement for Head Football Coach Bronco Mendenhall, there are reports indicating Navy football coach Ken Niumatalolo is traveling to Provo Monday to meet with school officials.
The Capital Gazette reports Niumatalolo plans to spend Monday on BYU’s campus touring facilities and meeting with personnel like athletic director Tom Holmoe.
Citing the coach’s agent, the Gazette reports BYU has not made any contract offers at this point and that Monday’s event is simply a meeting and that Niumatalolo is doing his due diligence in hearing what the Cougars have to say.
The athletic director for Navy, Ched Gladchuck, reportedly confirmed the meeting was taking place. He told the Capital Gazette he was frustrated with the timing, as Navy is preparing to face Army.
“It’s an unnecessary distraction leading up to the most important game of the year,” Gladchuk told the Capital Gazette. “I’m disappointed the players and assistant coaches have to deal with this at a time when everyone’s complete attention should be on beating Army.”
BYU, which is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has said any potential hire for the position would need to be a member of the LDS Church, a requirement Niumatalolo fulfills. The Gazette reports he served a two-year mission and has subsequently held various leadership positions in his local congregation, the Broadneck Ward of the LDS Church.
Niumatalolo’s son, Va’a, is currently a sophomore linebacker for the Cougars.
Bronco Mendenhall will coach the Cougars one more time on December 19 in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, where they will face their rival Utah.