For most people, the name Ken Niumatalolo brings to mind the successful coach at Navy who has been able to guide the Midshipmen to improbable win after improbable win, including two out of three against Notre Dame.
But beyond the headline-generating successes, Niumatalolo has been fairly average as a head coach. The 2011 season, however, wasn't quite average. In fact, even by Navy standards, it was downright lousy.
Navy has hobbled through the 2011 season posting a 4-7 mark headed into their annual showdown with Army.
For comparison, the last time Navy missed a bowl game was 2002, when the Midshipmen were 2-10.
But even then, the season seemed to be salvaged with the all-important win over Army. While 4-7 isn't exactly the type of season Navy was hoping for 13 weeks ago, a win over the Black Knights can save a coach's job like no other single win anywhere in the country.
Niumatalolo, for all of his success, is just 31-21 at Navy's helm, and 1-3 in bowl games.
It's also worth mentioning that Navy has failed to capture the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for the second-straight season after winning it seven years in a row between 2003 and 2009. At Navy, wins against the other military academies are as good as bowl wins, but losing tends to hurt a bit more.
A loss to Army will only exacerbate this season's lackluster performance, and unless Navy returns to a bowl game next season, Niumatalolo may be out of a job—for good cause.
Decision: Keep 'em (for now)