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Niumatalolo massages, adds to coaching staff

| June 16, 2017, 04:20 PM

Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo recently announced two promotions and two additions to the football staff.

Bryce McDonald has been elevated from Director of Football Operations to offensive tackles coach, Preston Pehrson has been promoted from Recruiting Coordinator to Director of Player Personnel, Brian Blick was named Director of Football Operations and Omar Nelson was named Recruiting Coordinator.

“The most important thing for me is making sure we bring in good people that will maintain our culture and I have no doubt that these four men will do that,” said Niumatalolo.  “Bryce, Brian and Omar are all Naval Academy graduates and Preston grew up in the program with his father having coached here for the last 21 years.  They represent everything we want in terms of character, discipline and work ethic.”

McDonald is in his ninth year with the program having served as the Director of Football Operations for the past five seasons and as the Executive Administrator and Military Liaison Officer for three years. McDonald also assisted Coach Niumatalolo and the military officer representatives with professional development and molding Navy football players to assume future positions of leadership in the Navy and Marine Corps.

A 2003 graduate of the Naval Academy, McDonald was a three-year letterwinner at fullback for the Midshipmen.

Following graduation, McDonald was commissioned into the United States Marine Corps as an Infantry Officer and served until 2012.

Blick is a 2012 graduate of the Naval Academy, where he majored in history and played defensive back for the Midshipmen.

Upon graduation, Blick was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps where he served until 2017.  Blick was a graduate assistant coach on the 2012 team and graduated from The Basic School in Quantico, VA and the Field Artillery Basic Officer Leader Course in Fort Sill, Okla.  He served as a Field Artillery officer with 2ND Battalion, 10th Marines located in Camp Lejeune, N.C. where he held positions as Fire Direction Officer, Platoon Commander, Battery Executive Officer, Battalion Assistant Logistics Officer and Battalion Supply Officer in Charge.

Preston Pehrson is in his third year at the Naval Academy and his first as the Director of Player Personnel. Pehrson came to Navy from Georgia Tech where he was a quality control coach for one season and a graduate assistant coach for three years for former Navy head coach Paul Johnson.

Before coming to Atlanta in 2011, Pehrson worked one spring as a graduate assistant at Lamar University. In the fall of 2010, he served as outside linebackers coach and assistant tight ends coach at Houston Christian High School in Texas.

Growing up in Annapolis, Md., Pehrson was an all-state performer in both football and baseball at Broadneck High School. After high school, Pehrson attended Jacksonville University where he played two seasons with the Dolphins baseball team. He then transferred to the University of Texas for one year before finishing his college career at Towson University. In 2007, Pehrson was taken in the 47th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Baltimore Orioles and played two years in the minor leagues. Pehrson earned his degree in sports management with a minor in business from Towson University in 2009.

Nelson is a well-known figure around Navy athletics, having served as the color commentator on the Navy Radio Network for the past 14 seasons.

Nelson is a 1997 graduate of the Naval Academy, where he helped lead the Midshipmen to a 9-3 record and a victory over California in the Aloha Bowl his senior year. Nelson won three varsity letters at fullback for the Mids.

Upon graduation, Nelson reported to Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, R.I., and then served as the First Division Officer onboard the USS Denver (LPD-9) from August 1998-July 2000. In January of 2000, Nelson deployed for six months to the Persian Gulf with the Denver for Operation Southern Watch.

Nelson also served as the Auxiliaries Officer onboard the USS Sides (FFG-14) from November 2000-May 2002. In February of 2002, Nelson deployed with the Sides in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Nelson reported back to the Academy in June 2002 to work in the Seamanship and Navigation Department and taught Strategy and Tactics and Seamanship and Navigation, as well as serving as the Officer in Charge of a Yard Patrol Craft training midshipmen.

Category: LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS, Sports

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