Ni­u­mat­alolo says he’s not look­ing to leave An­napo­lis

Spec­u­la­tion be­gan af­ter word got out that coach had changed agents

Baltimore Sun - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL - By Bill Wagner

When word fil­tered out last week that Navy foot­ball coach Ken Ni­u­mat­alolo had changed agents, some na­tional re­porters spec­u­lated he might be look­ing to change schools, too

But in an in­ter­view with The Baltimore Sun Me­dia Group on Mon­day, Ni­u­mat­alolo said fans and me­dia should not read too much into his de­ci­sion to be­come a client of TLA World­wide, where he will be rep­re­sented by Lee Ka­plan. Ni­u­mat­alolo said his long­time agent, Evan Beard, is get­ting out of the busi­ness and he needed a re­place­ment.

“Evan is do­ing re­ally, re­ally well on Wall Street, so he is phas­ing out of be­ing an agent. He re­cently got pro­moted and has a new job that is very time-con­sum­ing,” Ni­u­mat­alolo ex­plained. “Things are evolv­ing. I needed some­one to rep­re­sent me. I have to pro­tect my­self.”

Ni­u­mat­alolo scoffed at the no­tion that hir­ing new rep­re­sen­ta­tion meant he was try­ing to as­cend to a higher level of col­lege foot­ball. Over the years, sev­eral schools from Power Five con­fer­ences have ex­pressed an in­ter­est in Ni­u­mat­alolo when seek­ing to fill a head coach­ing va­cancy.

Thayer Evans, a for­mer in­ves­tiga­tive re­porter for Sports Il­lus­trated, re­cruited the ninth-year head coach to The Legacy Agency, where Evans is now a di­rec­tor of coach­ing.

“I’ve known Thayer for a cou­ple years and de­vel­oped a pretty good re­la­tion­ship with him,” Ni­u­mat­alolo said. “In a lot of ways, Thayer is a lot like Evan. He was some­one I felt com­fort­able with and could trust.”

Ni­u­mat­alolo re­peated that he only sought new rep­re­sen­ta­tion af­ter Beard told him he could no longer spend time work­ing as an agent.

“You wouldn’t be­lieve how many peo­ple in the busi­ness have tried to so­licit me away from Evan. Ev­ery year, I get in­quiries from dif­fer­ent agen­cies,” Ni­u­mat­alolo said. “Evan has done a phe­nom­e­nal job for me and my fam­ily, and we’re in­debted to him. Evan is go­ing in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion with life, which is to­tally un­der­stand­able.”

Con­tacted Mon­day, Beard con­firmed that he re­cently re­ceived a pro­mo­tion with U.S. Trust, Bank of Amer­ica Pri­vate Wealth Man­age­ment and did not be­lieve he could ad­e­quately serve his clients as a sports agent any longer.

“You ei­ther need to be com­pletely in this game or com­pletely out. I am get­ting com­pletely out of this game and will no longer be in­volved with any type of rep­re­sen­ta­tion,” said Beard, who will con­tinue to per­form fi­nan­cial man­age­ment for Ni­u­mat­alolo and other clients.

Beard be­lieves this changeover in rep­re­sen­ta­tion comes at a good time, be­cause he just ne­go­ti­ated a longterm con­tract for Ni­u­mat­alolo.

The Legacy Agency also an­nounced that it has signed Navy of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Ivin Jasper as a client. Jasper, who has been a fi­nal­ist for sev­eral head coach­ing po­si­tions, also had been rep­re­sented by Beard.

When Ni­u­mat­alolo was named Navy head coach in De­cem­ber 2007 and sud­denly re­al­ized he needed some­one to ne­go­ti­ate a con­tract, he didn’t do much re­search. He turned to a for­mer Navy foot­ball player and oc­ca­sional ten­nis part­ner.

Beard, who played line­backer for Navy in 2003 and 2004, had de­vel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion for pro­vid­ing sound ad­vice in terms of fi­nan­cial man­age­ment be­fore even grad­u­at­ing from the academy.

Head coach Paul John­son was among many peo­ple as­so­ci­ated with the pro­gram who had done some in­vest­ing with Beard, whose fa­ther en­joyed tremen­dous suc­cess in that busi­ness. Bruce Beard founded Beard Pen­sion Ser­vices in Youngstown, Ohio, and his son de­vel­oped the same Satur­day, 4 p.m. TV: ESPNews Ra­dio: 1090 AM, 1430 AM Line: Navy by 71⁄ Navy coach Ken Ni­u­mat­alolo said he changed agents be­cause his old one was leav­ing the busi­ness. tal­ent for de­vel­op­ing. in­vest­ment strat­egy.

“I’ve been around a lot of in­tel­li­gent guys here at the academy, but Evan was prob­a­bly one of the smartest play­ers that has ever been in our locker room,” Ni­u­mat­alolo said. “The guy has al­ways been in­volved with money, and his busi­ness acu­men is re­mark­able.”

Beard and ath­letic di­rec­tor Chet Glad­chuk agreed on terms for a new long-term deal for Ni­u­mat­alolo in De­cem­ber. That came af­ter Ni­u­mat­alolo flirted with tak­ing the head coach­ing po­si­tion at Brigham Young.

Glad­chuk de­clined to pro­vide specifics of the re­worked con­tract but ac­knowl­edged that Ni­u­mat­alolo re­ceived an in­crease in base salary with other con­sid­er­a­tions.

“We re­worked things a bit for Kenny as a show of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for a job well done,” Glad­chuk said in De­cem­ber. “We have al­ways treated Kenny fairly with re­gard to com­pen­sa­tion, and this is just a con­tin­u­a­tion of that mind­set.”

Ni­u­mat­alolo was earn­ing a base salary of just un­der $1.7 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to a USA To­day re­port on Di­vi­sion I head coach­ing salaries. How­ever, that fig­ure is be­lieved to be based on when the con­tract was orig­i­nally signed in 2011. Sources have told The Baltimore Sun Me­dia Group that Ni­u­mat­alolo had an­nual es­ca­la­tors built into the con­tract that in­creased the salary over the years.

The Baltimore Sun Me­dia Group has also learned that Ni­u­mat­alolo’s pre­vi­ous con­tract in­cluded bonuses for such ac­com­plish­ments as beat­ing Air Force and Army West Point, win­ning the Com­man­der-in-Chief’s Tro­phy and qualifying for a bowl game.

PAUL W. GILLESPIE/BSMG

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