BYU’s hiring for Sione Po’uha, Justin Ena is valuable in hiring

It was important for BYU’s head football coach to bring a pair of Polynesian coaches on board in transitioning from being an independent to being a member of the Pac 12 in 2023.

Any contact with the ever-growing Polynesian communities that stretch from the South Pacific to Hawaii, from California to Washington, and from Utah to Kansas has become important to major college football programs across the land.

That underscores the importance of hiring eight-year NFL veteran Seon Poha and former Cougar linebacker Justin Ena from San Diego State to help new defensive coordinator Jay Hill.

According to Moss Bingham, Co-President of Warroom and CEO of Recruiting Pro: “Sione Po’uha and Justin Ena are game-changers, not only on the field, developing great players, but off the field as well.”

They are opening the doors to the Samoa Pipeline. With Jasen Ah getting a job in the academics, Kalani and Jay Hill hired coaches of Samoan descent and hit it out of the park. I think Coach Hill has put together a dream team for a defensive staff that will do great in the Big 12, especially in recruiting.”

Hill, the former coach of Weber State, replaced Iliasa Tuiaki (Tonji), as defensive coordinator after the New Mexico Bowl, BYU’s final postseason.

Sitake, who was born in Nukuʻalofa, Tonga, and his cousin, game coach/receiver Fesi Sitake and running back coach Harvey Onga (Tonga), exemplify a culture that has supplied the college and NFL with remarkably talented athletes over the decades.

Po’uha’s parents, who is Tongan, attended the same Nuku’alofa chapter of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with Kalani Setake’s father Tom Setake in the 1960s. Ina was a roommate and teammate of Sitake when they both played at BYU.

Sitake expanded his reach with the new staff.

This hire by Sitake brought some depth to multiple pipelines. He’s hit it big with former recruiting coordinator Jasen Ah You (Samoan), who left the Sitake staff to work at BYU’s athletic academics last year.

How important are these cultural connections to football programs, especially in recruiting?

You don’t have to go far to ask. Or you can go cross country.

aNorth Carolina offensive coordinator has just been hired Robert Anna (Samoa).

Anae, known for his tough, no-nonsense style, has coached at Hawaii, Rix College, Boise State, UNLV, Texas Tech, BYU (twice), Arizona, Virginia, Syracuse and now the Wolfpack. He followed in the footsteps of much-travelled former BYU and Utah offensive coordinator Norm Chau, a native of Hawaii.

Anae was instrumental in bringing Vic So’oto (Samoan) to Provo out of Southern California in the days of Bronco Mendenhall. After an extensive NFL career, So’oto is now the outside linebackers coach and lead recruiter for Justin Wilcox at Cal after stopping coaching at Virginia, USC, and briefly in Colorado.

Ina just left the Brady Hook staff at SDSU He has coached at Utah, Utah State, Weber State, The University of Utah, and Utah Tech.

Having a Samoan or Tongan coach on a senior varsity team is almost always a priority in many P5 programs. Washington State just picked up Frank Miley from Boise State, A hot commodity after he left Utah after a player campaigned for his promotion when the school went another direction three years ago. Also on the WSU staff is former Cougar and Virginia head coach Mark Atwaya (Samoa).

Former Cougar defensive end Shawn Noa (Samoan), Provo left for the NFL and later was hired by Ken Niumatalolo (Samoan) into the Navy before landing jobs at Michigan and Arizona State, and is now at Southern Cal working with Lincoln Riley.

When I was living in Tonga in the mid-1960s, a widow/seamstress was taken in by my family and her son, Tiamani, became like a brother. When he later immigrated to Utah, his son Benny was a running back at Snow College and had a long career on the football team at Oklahoma State where he is currently a player development specialist.

Some may think Oregon defensive coordinator Tosh Lupuy is Polynesian, but he is of Italian descent, The grandson of an immigrant millionaire Tony Lowboy. Tosh’s father played John Lowboy at BYU (1967-1969), and Tosh actually played Tony Toyotti coaches the Oregon defensive line.

Toyoti, a former Hawaiian player who grew up in Lae on the north shore of Oahu, is Samoan. He is a recruiting drive for the Ducks having coached at Nebraska, Cal, Hawaii, Michigan and Cleveland Browns.

We could have been playing this game for a long time, but before we drop more names, check out most of the lists of trainers. You will find Polynesians, hired for many reasons, but the main experience among them is recruitment,

At UCLA you have a former Ute all-WAC player and native of Maui, Hawaii, Chad Kawaha Who drew a resume coaching at UNLV, Boise State, Oregon State, Utah (2011-2012) and Utah State (2009-2010).

So, how big is Sitake’s hiring for Po’uah and Ena?

Well, there’s their 12 years of NFL experience, their knowledge of coaching techniques and movements, but more than that, their who they know, their relationships, their cousins ​​and nephews.

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