Report: Miami Dolphins tapping into college ranks to make new hire

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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are looking to move on from a heartbreaking early elimination in this year’s NFL postseason. They have already made some coaching staff changes, and in the latest one, they are reportedly bringing in University of Hawaii co-offensive coordinator Roman Sapolu.

“Co-offensive coordinator Roman Sapolu and Jacob Yoro, who was the defensive coordinator the past two seasons, are leaving the University of Hawaii football team, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser has learned,” wrote Stephen Tsai.

“Sapolu, who also coached UH’s offensive linemen, is expected to join the Miami Dolphins’ coaching staff.”

It’s unclear what role Sapolu will take on with the Dolphins, but it’s worth noting that a few offensive assistants have left the organization this offseason.

His Dolphins tenure will mark a big step into the NFL ranks after several years at the collegiate level. Before his tenure with the University of Hawaii, his coaching experience also featured stints at California State University, Fresno (better known as Fresno State) and Idaho State University. He also spent time at the University of Nebraska as a graduate assistant.

Sapolu has a solid track record of helping develop great offenses. For instance, Fresno State’s offense in 2021 averaged over 30 points per game when he was the team’s offensive line coach and run game coordinator. In addition, he played a role in Idaho State finishing with 5,403 yards of total offense during the 2018 season when he was the squad’s offensive line coach.

The Oregon State University product is set to join a Dolphins team that ranked second in scoring in the 2023 NFL season with 29.2 points per game. Unfortunately, Miami’s offense also tended to wilt against elite competition throughout the campaign.

In the regular season, it failed to register at least 20 points in contests against the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills.

Even so, the Dolphins had their chances to earn a high seed going into the playoffs. Unfortunately, two consecutive losses to end the regular season dropped them down to the No. 6 seed and set up a meeting with Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium, where they haven’t won since 2011.

The slump, as well as Miami’s failure to notch a win in the playoffs since the 2000 season, continued after the team lost to the Chiefs 26-7 in the first round.

Hopefully, adjustments in the offseason can turn the Dolphins’ fortunes around. Otherwise, the franchise might see more drastic changes in the future.

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Orel is a proud contributor of Dolphin Nation. He started following the league in the late 1990s and was able to watch Dan Marino's final playing years.