AACFootballHiringMountain West

Ken Niumatalolo named head football coach at San José State

San José State announced on Sunday the hiring of Ken Niumatalolo as the Spartans’ next head football coach. Niumatalolo was previously the head coach at Navy from 2007-2022, where he won 109 games and went to ten bowls (6-4). He spent the 2023 season working with the UCLA program.

“We are thrilled that Coach Niumatalolo has accepted the opportunity to lead our football program,” said AD Jeff Konya 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. We believe he is the right fit to build off the foundation laid here at San José State and will have the Spartans competing for Mountain West championships on a consistent basis.”

Niumatalolo is a Hawaii-native who played quarterback for the Rainbow Warriors and spent many years under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coach Paul Johnson. Running a similar option-style offense to Johnson, Niumatalolo was a consistent winner with the Naval Academy for many years. The Midshipmen won 10+ games three times during his tenure, which ended in 2022 after a run of three-straight losing seasons. He was named AAC Coach of the Year on three occasions (2015, 2016 and 2019), the same three years in which Navy was a division champion in the league. Prior to 2015, the program was an FBS Independent and was bowl eligible in all but one full seasons under Niumatalolo.

He takes over for Brent Brennan, who left to take over at Arizona after seven seasons at SJSU. The Spartans are coming off a 7-6 (6-2) campaign in 2023 and have played in bowl games in three of the last four seasons, but have not won one since 2015.


credit to San José State Athletics for the image