Navy Fires Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo
No, I am not here to dance on navy's grave. Yes Army won yesterday in an absolutely bananas dramatic fashion. More on that on the next episode of Zero Blog Thirty.
So I am shocked and I am not shocked.
"Our sincerest gratitude to Coach Ken for what has been a distinguished and impactful legacy at the Naval Academy," said Naval Academy athletic director Chet Gladchuk in a statement. "Navy football flourished for many years under his leadership. He will forever be remembered for the influence he has had on the lives of those who played for him. We all have great respect and appreciation for his 25 years of service to the Academy."
Niumatalolo, the winningest coach in program history, led Navy to a 109-83 record. The Midshipmen were 10-5 against Army West Point and 7-7 against Air Force under his leadership with six Commander-In-Chief's Trophy wins across his 15 seasons.
I am shocked due to those numbers right there. It is not easy to win at a service academy and Coach Ken proved to be quite adept at that. I hated seeing his face on the opposite sideline because I knew his teams would be ready. HOWEVER, the last 7 seasons as Army has taken control of this series winning 5 including yesterday's tilt, he became much less scary.
I am not shocked because navy hasn't done much winning in their conference the last few years - losing records in four of their last five seasons with a 11-23 mark overall since 2020. Ouch. Ultimately, this is what did him in if you ask those around navy's halls.
It will be interesting to see who they snag as his replacement given the challenges of coaching at that low tier boat school.
You would think after 25 years a man earns the right to walk away when he chooses but I guess not in navy's case. I wish Coach Ken all the best moving forward. He was a formidable opponent and that's what you want in a rivalry.
For navy it is a bad day, it is a sad day.