The UCLA Bruins have hired Ken Niumatalolo to coach its tight ends. In 2023 he worked in an off-field role for the program. Niumatalolo’s last coaching job was as the head coach of Navy from 2007-2022, where he went 109-83 and 6-5 in bowl games. He is the Midshipmen’s winningest coach by a large margin, with 54 more wins than the next closest.
Niumatalolo role for the UCLA Bruins was director of leadership last year. He worked closely with players and coaches. Heading into the LA Bowl against Boise State, he took on the job of coaching the Bruins tight ends. Niumatololo coached tight ends at UNLV from 1999-2001. But his track record as a head coach is what truly makes him a special hire.
UCLA Bruins coach Chip Kelly commented on the hire in a statement saying, “Ken is a tremendous example for our program off the field through his character and experiences at the Naval Academy. We are thrilled with the opportunity to add his knowledge and leadership to our tight ends room and coaching staff.”
How Niumatalolo Fits With The UCLA Bruins
The UCLA Bruins top tight end, Moliki Matavao, is the name to watch under Niumatalolo’s tutelage. Last season he caught just 14 passes, but was the team’s third-leading receiver with 283 yards. At 6’6″ and 240 lbs, the Bruins could be looking at their next Greg Dulcich if he can take the right steps forward. Matavao was 4th in the nation in yards after the catch per reception
Niumatalolo fills the vacancy left by Jeff Faris. Faris is now the head coach at Austin Peay State University. He was in the role for one season.