Mormon Coach Balancing Church Service with Pressure-Filled Profession

by | Aug. 22, 2014

News from Utah

Ken Niumatalolo is not a fan of camping. The Navy head football coach prefers nice hotels when away from home.

Yet when duty called a few years ago, he endured the outdoors for a week at a lake near Cumberland, Maryland.

Coach Niumatalolo is also the Young Men president of his LDS ward. For several days, the coach encouraged 15 teenagers to pass off Duty to God requirements and earn Boy Scout merit badges while attending Aaronic Priesthood camp. Game preparation for opponents like Notre Dame and Pittsburgh would have to wait.

“When I come to church, I am Brother Niumatalolo. I’m nobody special," Niumatalolo said in a recent Deseret News interview. "When I’m at camp, they don’t care that I’m the head coach. I guarantee there is not another Division I coach chasing around Boys Scouts, saying, ‘Put that knife down’ or ‘Don’t throw that rock.’”

Perhaps not. But there are many coaches like Niumatalolo who are dedicated to serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints despite the rigors of their profession.

Read the rest of this story at deseret.com
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