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Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo reportedly ‘strong candidate’ for Arizona job

This is certainly an interesting development.

Friday morning, mentioned Ken Niumatalolo as a potential candidate for the opening at Arizona. A couple of hours later, reported that the Navy head coach has emerged as a “strong candidate” for the job.

The latest development adds further intrigue, with the Arizona Daily Star‘s Michael Lev writing that “Niumatalolo was unexpectedly absent from the Navy football offices today, fueling strong speculation that he will be the next coach of the Arizona Wildcats.” Lev added that it’s believed Niumatalolo is interviewing for the job today.

Niumatalolo and his option offense has gone 84-48 in 11 seasons at the service academy, including a pair of double-digit win seasons in 2009 and 2015. In December of 2015, Niumatalolo, a member of the Mormon church, turned down the BYU job in order to return to Navy.

Former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is also believed to be a front-runner to replace Rich Rodriguez, who was fired earlier this month amidst sexual harassment claims that he described as fabricated and groundless.

A decision is expected in the not-too-distant future, perhaps as early as Friday.