Saga Tuitele | Army West Point

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Team: Army West Point
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Offensive Line Coach

Biography

Army head coach Jeff Monken has announced the addition of Saga Tuitele to the Black Knights’ coaching staff. Tuitele will coach the offensive line. He also was on the Army staff for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. 
 
Tuitele comes from The University of New Mexico, having served as the offensive line coach and run game coordinator.  He previously was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo where he led the Mustang offense to the top of the NCAA FCS charts in terms of points and yards.

During the 2019 campaign, his line was a strength of the Lobo squad.  The line was the last in the FBS to allow a sack, and tackle Javon Mosely was selected for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Pasadena.  A pair of Lobos in Kyle Stapley and Teton Saltes were honorable mention All-Mountain West, and Saltes was a semifinalist for the Wuerffel Trophy.

In 2018, the Lobo offense underwent a change from a true triple option attack, and despite the changes, UNM had a first team Mountain West offensive lineman in Aaron Jenkins. Overall, UNM’s offensive line was tasked with pass blocking 365 times, and allowed just 15 sacks in its first year in a passing offense. Tuitele also was able to get a terrific season from Stapley at center, despite not playing the position before. Stapley was 802 of 806 on shotgun snaps with no penalties.

In 2017, despite injuries that decimated the offensive line and three different players starting at quarterback, the Lobos still managed to rush for 2,825 yards and 21 touchdowns.  Offensive lineman Aaron Jenkins anchored the front five and earned plenty of preseason accolades for the 2018 season.

In Tuitele’s first season with New Mexico, the Lobos led the nation in rushing yards, rushing yards per game and rushing yards per carry, as well as rushes of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 yards.  The Lobos also had two 1,000-yard rushers for the first time in school history in Teriyon Gipson and Tyrone Owens.

Gipson led the nation in rushing yards per carry as well.  UNM did all of that with an offensive line that saw three new starters. Additionally, the unit allowed just 12 sacks on the season.

Tuitele is a veteran of option offenses, having spent time at both Cal Poly and at Army coaching the offensive line.  For those seven seasons at Cal Poly, Tuitele served as the offensive line coach.  He was the co-offensive coordinator from 2009-2012, and the co- was removed from his title for the 2013 through 2015 seasons.

Under Tuitele, Cal Poly led the FCS in rushing yardage from 2013-15, including averaging 387.3 yards per game in 2015.  The Mustangs finished fourth in rushing in 2010, sixth in 2011 and third in 2012.

Prior to Cal Poly, he served as the offensive line coach at Army under offensive coordinator Tim Walsh, whom he also coached with and played under at Portland State.  Tuitele coached the defensive line at Portland State, helping the Vikings lead the Big Sky in total defense, rushing defense and scoring defense in 2004.

Tuitele was a two-time All-Big Sky performer at Portland State, earning honorable mention All-America honors as a senior offensive guard after starting his career as a defensive tackle, where he played for two seasons.

Tuitele earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from Portland State in 2002.  An All-CIF Southern Section and All-State defensive lineman at Pacific High School in San Bernardino in the mid-1990s.

Tuitele and his wife, Rachel, have four children, To’omalatai, Tifaimoana, Saga III and Teuila.

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