BYU Football: Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo best choice to replace Bronco Mendenhall

BYU is looking for a new head coach after Bronco Mendenhall left to take the Virginia job and Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo should be his successor.

Bronco Mendenhall will be best known at BYU for putting together solid defenses during his 11 years with the team, but with his surprising decision to leave for the Virginia job, the Cougars have a crucial opening to fill.

Related: Virginia names Bronco Mendenhall as new head coach

Mendenhall will still coach BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl where he’ll look for his 100th career win, but with his sudden departure to Virginia leaves fans wondering who could replace him in Provo.

Several names are being tossed around as solid replacements for Mendenhall: Oregon State defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham and Utah State head coach Matt Wells. But I think the best candidate is Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo, who has his team in the national spotlight with a 9-2 record this year.

Niumatalolo would fit in very well with the culture at BYU, as exemplified by his parts in the movie “Meet the Mormons.” Coach Niumatalolo has developed quarterback Keenan Reynolds into a Heisman contender and the FBS career leader in touchdowns.

He has one of the more disciplined in the countries as Navy is the least penalized team in the country with only 35 infractions compared to 79 for BYU.

Overall, Niumatalolo has a 66-37 record since taking over as the head coach of the Midshipmen, which includes two wins over Notre Dame, eight straight wins against rival Army and his team is poised to finish in the top 25 for the first time under his watch with a win in their bowl game.

Niumatalolo seems like the obvious choice for BYU but is he ready to make the move?