Eagles promote Eti Ena to defensive coordinator


EWU athletics

Newly hired EWU defensive coordinator Eti Ena talks to players at Washington State on Sept. 3, 2016. Ena has been the Eagles’ defensive line coach since the 2016 season.

By Taylor Newquist, Sports Editor

The Eagles’ filled their defensive coordinator position by promoting associate head football coach Eti Ena, head coach Aaron Best announced on Jan. 22.

Ena will retain his title as associate head coach in his new role and will continue to coach defensive ends, as he has since 2016.

“I am so excited for this opportunity,” Ena said. “I love this program and the people we have here at EWU. We have made strides defensively the last couple years and now it’s time to advance the standard even further.”

Best described Ena as a natural leader.

“He loves to mold young men and now he gets to do that from another chair,” Best said.

Ena graduated from EWU in 2005, and was the defensive line coach at Idaho from 2009 to 2012. He also coached defensive line at UC Davis from 2013 to 2015 before returning to his alma mater.

The defensive coordinator vacancy was left open for just five days, after Jeff Schmedding left to coach linebackers and special teams at Boise State.