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Sione Po'uha Announces Retirement From Coaching

Jan 11, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY – University of Utah defensive tackles coach Sione Po'uha has announced his retirement from coaching today after spending the past three seasons with the Utes' football program.

"Sione has been an amazing teacher, mentor and coach, and we are grateful to him for everything he has given to this university," defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley said. "I am personally grateful for the example he has been to me. He is a friend and a brother, and I wish him nothing but the best."

Po'uha, who made his return to his alma mater in 2018, has been integral in the development of Utah's defensive line and specifically the defensive tackles. In 2021, he was a part of a Utah defensive staff that saw the Utes finish the season ranked 19th in the FBS in team sacks and 21st in tackles for loss, also ranking 27th in the country in total defense.

In 2019, Po'uha was part of a defensive unit that led the Utes to one of the most successful seasons in school history with Utah ranking second in the FBS in total defense, holding six opponents to seven points or fewer. Under his direction, defensive tackle Leki Fotu earned All-America honors from Walter Camp, FWAA and AP while being selected to his second-straight first-team All-Pac-12 nod.

The Utes also finished a shortened 2020 season leading the Pac-12 in rushing defense and second in the league in total defense, holding opponents to just 107.8 rushing yards per game. The former NFL star has been key in developing NFL talent with both Fotu and John Penisini being drafted in 2020.

Po'uha also served as the defensive tackles coach at Navy in 2018 after spending the 2017 season as Utah's director of player personnel. Prior to his first coaching position, Po'uha was a student assistant coach for the Utes from 2015-16.

He was a two-time first-team All-Mountain West selection for the Utes, helping the team to an undefeated season and a Fiesta Bowl win in 2004. After playing for Utah, he embarked on an eight-year NFL career where he played in 106 games with 55 starts from 2005-12 for the New York Jets.