Tulane’s starting kicker last three years no longer on team


A long-time presence on Tulane’s special teams is all of a sudden no longer present.

By way of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, head coach Willie Fritz confirmed that Andrew DiRocco is no longer a part of his Green Wave football team. No reason for the placekicker’s departure from the football program was given.

DiRocco still has eligibility remaining and could choose the graduate transfer route if he wants to continue playing collegiately. Just what his next steps are football-wise are unclear.

“He’s going to be graduating in the summer and it was a good move for him. We’re excited for him,” the head coach, whose Green Wave kicked off spring practice yesterday, said.

The past three seasons, DiRocco connected on 27-41 field goal attempts (65.9 percent) and 83-87 extra points (95.4 percent). Only one other kicker (Randy Harvey) attempted an extra point in that span, and no one other than DiRocco tried a field goal during that same time.

Harvey, a sophomore, is still on the Green Wave’s roster, and will compete with sophomore Zachary Block and freshman Merek Glover to replace DiRocco.

Former Navy coach Niumatalolo joins UCLA staff

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LOS ANGELES – Former Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo is joining UCLA’s coaching staff as director of leadership.

The school said in an announcement Friday that Niumatalolo will serve as an advisor to the Bruins’ football staff and players.

Niumatalolo led Navy for 15 years and was the winningest coach in school history at 109-83. The Midshipmen, however, finished with losing records the past three seasons, including 4-8 the past two.

Navy played in 10 bowl games under Niumatalolo. He also was the only coach to win his first eight games in the storied Army-Navy rivalry.

Troy, Jon Sumrall agree to new 4-year contract through 2026

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TROY, Ala. ⁠— Jon Sumrall agreed to a new four-year contract as Troy’s coach after leading the Trojans to a Sun Belt Conference championship and national ranking in his debut season.

The school announced the deal, which runs through 2026, but didn’t release details.

The Trojans went 12-2 and won their final 11 games, second only to national champion Georgia, including the league championship game and the Cure Bowl against UTSA. For the first time, they finished a season ranked, ending up 19th in The Associated Press Top 25.

“When we appointed Coach Sumrall in December 2021, we challenged him to return Troy football to the top of the Sun Belt Conference,” Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. said. “It didn’t take long, as the 2022 season was the best in our FBS history.”

Troy held all 14 of its opponents to under their season average in scoring, beating UTSA 18-12. The Trojans beat Coastal Carolina 45-26 in the Sun Belt title game.

“Last year was an amazing accomplishment for everyone associated with Troy football and was the product of relentless effort from our players and staff, athletic administration and university leaders,” Sumrall said.