Khalil Tate Responds to Reports Ken Niumatalolo in Running for Arizona HC Job

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2018

Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate runs against Purdue during the first half of the Foster Farms Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Arizona Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate had a negative response on social media Friday to rumors of Navy's Ken Niumatalolo becoming the next head coach at Arizona.

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg reported Friday that Niumatalolo is emerging as a strong candidate to replace Rich Rodriguez along with Beau Baldwin and Kevin Sumlin.

Max Olson of The Athletic tweeted a screenshot of a since-deleted tweet from Tate that appeared to be related to Niumatalolo's playcalling:

Rodriguez was fired as Arizona's head coach on Jan. 3 following a sexual harassment allegation.

Arizona defensive coordinator Marcel Yates was named Arizona's interim head coach following Rodriguez's firing, and Tate showed his support for Yates by tweeting, "#YatesForHeadCoach."

The Wildcats went 7-6 in 2017, which marked Tate's first full season as the team's starting quarterback.

The sophomore completed 62.0 percent of his passes for 1,591 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 1,411 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Despite his rushing prowess, Tate expressed dismay with the thought of running Niumatalolo's triple-option offense.

In 11 seasons at Navy, Niumatalolo has a record of 84-48, and he has led the Midshipmen to a bowl game on 10 occasions.

Navy attempted just 99 passes during the 2017 season, but it ranked second in the nation in rushing with 4,568 yards, while Arizona was third with 4,021 yards.

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