BYU Football Hires Former Utah Great Sione Pouha To Defensive Staff

Dec 20, 2022, 8:54 PM | Updated: 9:00 pm
BYU Football, Sione Pouha, Utah Utes...
Former Utah Utes assistant coach and player Sione Pouha is joining the BYU football defensive staff. (Chelsey Allder, Deseret News)
(Chelsey Allder, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football has hired a former Utah Utes star and assistant coach Sione Pouha to be on the defensive staff.

Pouha was out of coaching during the 2022 season. However, he is returning to the sidelines to team up with newly hired defensive coordinator Jay Hill.

“Sione was a phenomenal player and is an outstanding coach,” said BYU defensive coordinator and associate head coach Jay Hill. “His reputation precedes him, both in how he coaches his players and in how he recruits. I’m super excited about Sione joining our staff and the difference he will make for us on and off the field.”

Pouha coached at Utah from 2018-21. Before that, he worked at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

“Sione is a great coach who really understands the game up front as a longtime NFL defensive tackle and a defensive line coach at Navy and Utah,” BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake said. “He is a great technician and teacher, and he really knows how to work with people as a life coach and a leader in the community. I’m excited to work with Sione and welcome him to BYU.”

BYU has yet to give a specific job assignment to Pouha or the other defensive assistant Kelly Poppinga. But Pouha’s history is intertwined with the defensive line. In addition, the defensive line is an area where BYU is looking to improve both from their recruiting efforts and player development at that position.

Sione Pouha is a former Utah great along the defensive line

Pouha, an All-Mountain West performer at Utah and a member of the Utes undefeated 2004 Fiesta Bowl season, has succeeded both as a player and in coaching working along the defensive line.

“It’s a great day for my family and me,” Po’uha said. “We have been graciously welcomed and instantly feel the love, passion and excitement of BYU—the university, the football program and the family. We would like to thank the administration, Kalani Sitake and Jay Hill for this opportunity. I’m extremely excited to be here and can’t wait to get working. Go Cougars!”

Pouha joins the BYU football program officially before the Early Signing Period opens up in College Football on Wednesday. The Cougars are set to enter the Big 12 Conference beginning on July 1, 2023.

Barring any other changes to the staff, BYU has one coach position left to fill.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Football Hires Former Utah Great Sione Pouha To Defensive Staff