Publish date:

Utah leads the nation in sacks and has MMA experience to thank for it


If you look at the team leading the nation in sacks at this point in the year, you'll see Utah's name at the top of the chart, with 39 sacks in 8 games.

But that stat only tells part of the story. To understand the rest, just type "Ilaisa Ogre 6" into the YouTube search bar.

You see, as the Salt Lake Tribune points out, defensive line coach Ilaisa Tuiaki had a brief and successful career (7-1 overall) as an MMA fighter, fighting under the name "Ogre 6". That one loss came while he was juggling coaching duties at Utah State under Gary Andersen on top of fighting for $50 every time he stepped in the ring or cage.

Anyone who has experience coaching the defensive line can attest to the fact that being good with your hands is vital to the position, and Tuiaki is able to bring a very unique perspective from his time in the MMA world.

I'm curious in hearing how some other career/life experiences have had a direct impact on coaching techniques, similar to Tuiaki's story. Email me at if you have a similar story to share and I'll happy compile them to share it with the coaching community.

Read more on Tuiaki and how his MMA experience is helping his players here.