Iona Uiagalelei (yoo-gah-lei-lee) returns back to the Mt. SAC and will serve once again as defensive coordinator, after spending two seasons as a defensive line coach at the University of Arizona. Uiagalelei began his coaching career as a Graduate Assistant Coach at his Alma Mater, Southern Utah University and his Mt. SAC coaching career in 2001. In 2006 Uiagalelei took over Defensive Coordinating duties and in 2010, became a full-time professor before leaving to the University of Arizona in 2018.
Uiagalelei has worked with a number of outstanding Defensive Players including Bruce Irvin (West Virginia, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders), Bojay Filimoeatu (Utah State, Oakland Raiders), Nu’u Tafisi (2nd Team All-American, Cal Berkeley, Seahawks, 49’ers), Rulon Davis (Cal Berkeley) and Bernard Afutiti (All-American, BYU).
Uiagalelei prepped at Ganesha High School where he was an All-Inland Valley and All C.I.F. Player. He attended Mt. SAC (95-96) where he received All- Mission Conference Honors as a Defensive Lineman. Uiagalelei transferred to Southern Utah University and was selected to the DIAA All-American Team.
He received his bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from Southern Utah University and his Masters in Physical Education at New Mexico Highlands.
Uiagalelei resides in Fontana, with his beautiful lovely wife Nerisa (who works in the Mt. SAC Human Resources Department) and his five children, daughters Merosa and Anetero and sons Iona, Tavesi and Leevai.