ANNAPOLIS, Maryland—Navy Head Football Coach Ken Niumatalolo announced today that the Director of Player Personnel Omar Nelson was promoted to chief of staff, former rear of the navy Mark Thomas was hired as director of player personnel, Josh Bost joined the staff as Director of Football Operations and Christian Covyeau is the new soccer video coordinator.
Nelson is in his sixth year with the Navy football program after spending the previous five years as director of player personnel.
Nelson is a well-known figure in Navy athletics, having been the color commentator on the Navy Radio Network for 14 seasons. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1997, where he helped lead the Midshipmen to a 9-3 record and victory over California in the Aloha Bowl his senior year. Nelson won three varsity letters at the back for the Mids.
Upon graduation, Nelson reported to Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport, RI, then served as a First Division Officer aboard USS Denver (LPD-9) from August 1998 to July 2000. In January 2000, Nelson deployed for six months to the Persian Gulf with the Denver for Operation Southern Watch.
Nelson also served as an Auxiliary Officer aboard USS Sides (FFG-14) from November 2000 to May 2002. In February 2002, Nelson deployed with Sides in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Nelson returned 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 Officer in Charge of a Midshipman Training yard patrol.
“Recruitment, retention and player development are key to the success of Navy Football and Omar Nelson brings a wealth of knowledge as a former Navy officer, Naval Academy graduate, Navy football broadcaster and member of the Navy Football Brotherhood. He is an elite leader of men. Players look to him for advice and mentorship. I rely on him for his wisdom on a wide range of topics as it relates to being a Navy football player.”
Thomas comes to the Navy from UCLA, where he was Chip Kelly’s offensive analyst in 2020 and 2021 and director of strategic intelligence in 2019.
At UCLA, Thomas assisted the running backs coach (2020 and 2021) and tight ends coach (2019) as well as with special teams and was responsible for the opposing personnel scouting report. He helped lead UCLA to the 2021 Holiday Bowl, its first bowl game in four seasons.
In 2021, UCLA’s offense ranked 16th in the nation in scoring, averaging 36.5 points per game. Thomas helped develop the weekly running game plan for a unit that averaged 215.1 rushing yards per game, which was the 17th best rushing average in the nation. In 2020, UCLA’s offense ranked 20th in the nation in scoring, averaging 35.4 points per game and the rushing game improved by more than 70 yards per game.
Thomas graduated from the Naval Academy in 2014 and earned four college letters on the football team. The Mids compiled a 31-20 record in Thomas’s four years, won two Commander-in-Chief Trophies, beat the Army four times and played in three bowl games, winning the 2013 Bell Helicopter Bowl against Middle Tennessee State 25-6.
Thomas was named Second Team All-Independent as a kick returner in 2011, 2012 Honorable Mention All-Independent, 2013 Honorable Mention All-Independent, and 2013 All-East by the ECAC. He was the recipient of the 2013 Napoleon McCallum Award, which is given to the Navy college football player in the promotion who has gained the most all-purpose yards in his career.
Thomas is the Navy’s all-time leader in kickoff return distance with 2,338 yards.
Thomas spent five years in the United States Marine Corps, including serving as a Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36 Detachment Officer in charge of 55 Marines for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, an emergency response unit deployed to the forward in the Pacific theater and an aviation supply officer in Okinawa, Japan, where he led a team of 42 Marines, providing logistics and supply support to more than 2,000 Marines with Marine Aircraft Group 36 consisting of 58 aircraft.
“We are delighted to welcome back another member of the Brotherhood to Mark Thomas“, Niumatalolo said. “After a successful career in the Marine Corps, he learned from some of the best in our business at UCLA in Coach Chip Kelly and our very own Bryce McDonald.”
Bost is entering his first year at the Naval Academy as director of football operations. Bost came to the Navy from Virginia Tech where he served as both senior director of football operations (2021) and director of football video and technology (2016-20) on Justin Fuente’s staff.
At Virginia Tech, Bost coordinated team travel, team schedules and schedules and worked closely with all support areas that impact football, including sports medicine, sports nutrition, strength and conditioning, as well as academics and other campus entities. He also helped recruiting staff and staff coordinate camps and other events involving prospects and their families. In his previous role at Tech, he managed all facets of the football video department.
Bost also served as Fuente’s staff video coordinator in Memphis from 2013 to 2015.
Prior to Memphis, Bost worked in North Texas for nine years as director of video operations. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State in 2003 and worked in that office as a student and graduate assistant before moving to North Texas.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Josh Bost“, said Niumatalolo. “He brings a wide variety of skills and expertise to our program. He’s a great person who fits perfectly into our culture.”
Covyeau first helped in the Navy’s recruiting department before moving on to video coordinator.
Covyeau is a graduate of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Col. and earned his Masters in Sports Administration from the University of Louisville in 2021.
Covyeau started as a quarterback at Fort Lewis before moving to the video side where he oversaw the Fort Lewis film crew.
At Louisville, he served as a football technology graduate assistant and coordinated Louisville’s football technology and video services, while managing a team of more than 10 interns to film practices and games while editing film for the team review as well as self-recognition and opponent detection. reports for coaching staff. Louisville won the 2019 Music City Bowl under ACC Coach of the Year Scott Satterfield.
Covyeau has also worked as Head of Strategic Partnerships with DiverseNet Inc. (2014-18), Player Engagement Analyst for Pro Football Focus (2018-19), Football Recruitment Coach at Next College Student Athlete (2021- 22) and a scout trainee with the Hula Bowl All-Star Classic (2021-22).
“We are very lucky to have Christian,” Niumatalolo said. “He brings his experience and innovation to our program in a critical area of the development of our players and our program.”