First-year Colorado football coach Mel Tucker is getting closer to completing his coaching staff.
A former nine-year NFL veteran, Pupunu has spent the past two seasons coaching tight ends at his alma mater, Weber State. Prior to that, Pupunu coached tight ends at Idaho for seven seasons.
A native of Tonga, Pupunu, 49, went to high school in Salt Lake City and played two seasons at Dixie State College before earning All-American honors as a tight end at Weber State. As a senior in 1991, he caught 93 passes for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Pupunu went undrafted in 1992, but played nine seasons in the NFL, including his first five years with the San Diego Chargers. He caught 102 passes for 1,000 yards and three touchdowns during his NFL career.
He is a member of the Weber State Athletics Hall of Fame and the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.
Pupunu got his start in coaching as an intern at Utah, and then worked two seasons (2008-09) at Southern Utah before going to Idaho in 2010.
CU has announced the hiring of seven of the 10 full-time assistant coaching positions, while two others have now been confirmed.
On offense, Tucker has hired five assistants: coordinator Jay Johnson, offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic, receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini, running backs coach Darian Hagan and Pupunu.
On defense, Tyson Summers will be coordinator and safeties coach, with Jimmy Brumbaugh working with defensive linemen, Ross Els with linebackers and Travares Tillman with defensive backs.
Chiaverini, Els and Hagan were retained from previous coach Mike MacIntyre's staff.
Tucker has hired several members of the support staff, as well.
Luke Day, the head strength and conditioning coach at Marshall the past three years, has been hired as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Buffs.
Cymone George has been hired as the director of football recruiting. She previously worked as the director of football operations at Georgia Southern. She as hired at Georgia Southern in 2016 by Summers, who was the Eagles head coach at the time.
The Buffs have also hired Brian Michalowski as a defensive analyst. He worked with Tucker as a quality control coach at Georgia this past season.