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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pupunu joins Vandal staff

Former San Diego Charger and one-time FCS single-season receptions record holder Al Pupunu has joined Robb Akey's Idaho football staff as the Vandals' tight ends coach.

Pupunu, who comes to Idaho after two seasons at Southern Utah University, spent nine seasons in the NFL - seven with the Chargers. A tight end, he was the Offensive Player of the Game in the 1994 AFC Championship game and averaged 9.8 yards per catch during his career.

He made his collegiate mark at Weber State, when Akey was on the Wildcats' staff, by leading the FCS in receptions with 93 in 1991. That mark still stands as the second-best ever by a tight end in FCS history.

"Al is a first-class person," Akey said. "He proved to me he's a very good teacher. He also brings along some tricks of the trade that come with having played this game successfully at the highest level.

"I'm very happy and very excited about having Al as a member of our staff."

A native of Tonga, Pupunu attended Dixie State College for two years before transferring to Weber State. Not only was he an all-conference performer at Weber State, he was a Walter Camp All-American and is in the Wildcats' Hall of Fame as well as the Dixie College Hall of Fame and Utah Sports Hall of Fame. He was presented with the Distinguished Utahn Award by former Prime Minister of England Margaret Thatcher.

He and his wife, Mindi, have four children - Miley, Kade, Brynnli and Kenna.

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