ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo announced today that Shaun Nua has joined the staff as an assistant coach and will assist Dale Pehrson in coaching the defensive line. Niumatalolo also announced that Justin Davis will move from the defensive line to assist Tony Grantham at outside linebackers. Nua replaces Napoleon Sykes, who left Navy in January to coach at UNC-Charlotte.
Nua comes to the Naval Academy from Brigham Young, where he assisted for the past three seasons. He is a 2005 graduate of BYU where he received his bachelor’s degree and is currently pursuing his graduate degree.
Over the past two seasons, Nua helped the Cougars achieve the nation’s 24th-best total defense in 2010 and the 13th-ranked defense in 2011. BYU won its bowl games both years while finishing the 2011 season ranked No. 25 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll with a 10-3 record.
“Shaun is a bright and enthusiastic coach and I’m very excited to have him join our staff,” said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo. “He is a man of character and coaches with a great deal of passion. I went to BYU last spring to watch a couple of spring practices and he immediately caught my attention with the way he coached. He will be a great asset.”
“I am very excited to be at Navy,” said Nua. “I have so much respect for these young men and what they do here at the Naval Academy and what they are going to do after graduation. I am fired up about having a role in helping these young men progress on the football field and I am very grateful that Coach Niumatalolo has given me this opportunity.”
“Shaun is an exceptional coach and an exceptional person,” said Brigham Young head coach Bronco Mendenhall. “He has an outstanding defensive mind blended with great optimism, and he is an excellent teacher who cares for the players in his charge. Our players and coaches are sorry to see him leave, but excited for him and his opportunity at Navy. Shaun has a very bright future in the coaching profession.”
As a player, Nua was a 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive end at BYU from 2002-04 before being drafted in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nua played four years in the NFL, three seasons with Pittsburgh and one in Buffalo, including a winning trip to the Super Bowl with the Steelers his rookie year in 2006.
Nua earned All-Mountain West Conference Second-Team honors as a senior. He played in all 23 games of his BYU career, appearing in 12 games his junior season in 2002 and 11 games as a senior in 2004 (redshirted in 2003 due to an injury). He totaled 54 tackles in his two seasons, including 10 sacks and 16 tackles for loss. His four sacks were second on the team behind longtime NFL veteran Brady Poppinga his junior season, while his six sacks led the Cougars his senior year.
Born on May 22, 1981, Nua is a native of Pago Pago, American Samoa. He transferred to BYU from Eastern Arizona Junior College, where he earned junior college All-America honors. He prepped at Tafuna High School in Tafuna, American Samoa where he was an all-league performer as a defensive end.