Former Utah DT Coach Sione Po’uha Explains Decision To Retire From Coaching

Jan 12, 2022, 4:56 PM
Deseret News...
(Photo courtesy of the Deseret News)
(Photo courtesy of the Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Fresh off of announcing that he is retiring from coaching, Utah legend Sione Po’uha talked about what went into his decision.

Sione Po’uha and Utah football announced on Tuesday afternoon that he would be retiring from coaching after three seasons as the defensive tackles coach.

Po’uha joined the Hans and Scotty G. Show on The Zone Sports Network on Wednesday and was asked how hard it was to decide to step away from coaching.

“It was definitely a hard decision because it’s something that you love, something that you grew up with,” Po’uha told The Zone Sports Network. “Not only that, your ties and relationships with great people. Coach (Kyle) Whittingham is a big influence in my life. Coach (Morgan) Scalley, the whole coaching staff and just being yourself. Walking away from that definitely was something that was challenging, but more exciting when I was there, and just the great season that the team had. The perseverance, that memory probably exceeds how hard the decision was just to be able to have that experience, be a part of it, to see the success that came to the team. Overall, as I look back on it, it was a great experience to be a part of and to see those young men perform and have the season that they had is awesome.”

You can listen to the full interview, below.

Now, the big question was asked. What led to coach Po’uha to retirement in coaching.

“There’s some exciting things that’s happening in my little family,” Po’uha mentioned. “I’m looking forward to being a big part of that, our son is getting ready to go on a mission. I wanted to be present for that. I got a son who’s a senior at Bingham High School coming up this year. Then I got growing daughters that are going into volleyball. So I knew that my responsibilities and my love and passion for football, and my love and passion for my family wouldn’t quite fit like I wanted it to. So I just wanted to be able to be present for those things for my family. That’s pretty much the biggest factor. I had my oldest son, who signed with Utah, was at Bingham during the COVID years, and I had the opportunity to attend those games and just be a part of it and be a part of the senior walk. So those are the experiences that I’m looking forward to and pretty much the big reason why I knew that this probably was the best move.”

Po’uha was an All-Mountain West selection for Utah and was a part of the Fiesta Bowl team in 2004. He went on to play eight seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets.

Po’uha joined the Utah coach staff in 2018 and has developed great defensive linemen during his stint on The Hill. He was a big part of the development of Leki Fotu, John Penisini and others, including Junior Tafuna this season.

Before joining the Utah coaching staff, Po’uha coached the defensive tackles at Navy in 2018.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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