Sykes Will Assist Shaun Nua
By Gary Lambrecht
Sophomore nose guard from Windsor, Colo.
Sophomore nose guard from Richmond, Va.
Senior outside linebacker that was born in Nigeria before going to high school in Texas
Shaun Nua is in his fifth season at the Naval Academy coaching the defensive line.
Navy has compiled a record of 36-16 (.692) in Nua’s tenure, beating Army all four times, earning four bowl bids, winning three bowl games and winning three Commander-In-Chief Trophies.
Navy finished the 2015 campaign with a school-record 11 wins against just two losses, qualified for a bowl game for the 12th time in the last 13 years, won a bowl game for the 10th time in school history (beat Pittsburgh, 44-28, in the Military Bowl), won a bowl game for a third straight year for the first time in school history, defeated Army for a series-record 14th consecutive year, won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the third time in the last four years, won the Lambert Trophy as the best team in the East for the first time since 1963, finished 18th in the country in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls and shared the West Division title of the American Athletic Conference with Houston in Navy’s first year of being in a conference after being an Independent for 134 years.
Defensive end Will Anthony was named First Team All-American Athletic Conference and First Team All-East.
As a team, the defense finished 32nd in rushing defense (143.0), 40th in total defense (364.9), 26th in scoring defense (21.8), 12th in Red Zone defense (.737), 13th in turnovers gained (27), first in fumbles recovered (15), third in turnover margin (+1.46), first in fewest penalties per game (3.1) and first in fewest penalty yards per game (26.1).
Navy finished the 2014 season with an 8-5 record, won a bowl game for just the ninth time in school history (beat San Diego State, 17-16, in the Poinsettia Bowl) and defeated Army for a series-record 13th consecutive year.
Navy finished the 2013 campaign with a 9-4 record, won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the ninth time in the last 11 years, qualified for a bowl game for the 10th time in the last 11 years, won a bowl game for just the eighth time in school history (beat Middle Tennessee, 24-6, in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl) and defeated Army for a series-record 12th consecutive year.
Nua helped lead Navy to an 8-5 record in 2012 and a berth in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Navy defeated Air Force, 28-21, in overtime and Army, 17-13, to win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy.
Nua came to the Naval Academy from Brigham Young, where he assisted for three seasons. He is a 2005 graduate of BYU where he received his bachelor’s degree and is currently pursuing his graduate degree.
Over his final two seasons in Provo, Nua helped the Cougars achieve the nation’s 24th-best total defense in 2010 and the 13th-ranked defense in 2011. BYU won its bowl games both years while finishing the 2011 season ranked No. 25 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll with a 10-3 record.
As a player, Nua was a 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive end at BYU from 2002-04 before being drafted in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nua played four years in the NFL, three seasons with Pittsburgh and one in Buffalo, including a winning trip to the Super Bowl with the Steelers his rookie year in 2006.
Nua earned Second-Team All-Mountain West Conference honors as a senior. He played in all 23 games of his BYU career, appearing in 12 games his junior season in 2002 and 11 games as a senior in 2004 (redshirted in 2003 due to an injury). He totaled 54 tackles in his two seasons, including 10 sacks and 16 tackles for loss.
Born on May 22, 1981, Nua is a native of Pago Pago, American Samoa. He transferred to BYU from Eastern Arizona Junior College, where he earned Junior College All-America honors. He prepped at Tafuna High School in Tafuna, American Samoa.