As FootballScoop reported on Sunday, Army has officially announced the hiring of Jeff Monken as its next head football coach.
Monken comes to West Point from Georgia Southern, where he guided the Eagles to a 38-16 record in four seasons. Under Monken, the Eagles made three consecutive trips to the FCS semifinals, won or shared two Southern Conference titles and experienced three 10-win seasons.
“We were fortunate to have an excellent pool of candidates to consider,” said Army athletics director Boo Corrigan in the school's official announcement. “We were very impressed with each of the individuals we interviewed. There was tremendous interest in the position nationally and we felt there were several very qualified candidates, but throughout the process Jeff separated himself from the others. His passion, energy and strong experience in turning around a program immediately helped him rise to the top of our list.
“We want a successful head coach who understands the challenges of working at a service academy, one who could help us win immediately and one who understands the importance of West Point’s mission. We found that in Jeff,” Corrigan continued. “Jeff has been highly successful at every stop he has made both on the field and off. We expect him to experience that same level of success at West Point. We could not be more excited to have Jeff , his wife Beth, and their three daughters join the West Point family and lead our football program.”
Equally important, Monken's triple-option offenses led the entirety of Division I this season, averaging just above 360 yards per game; Auburn was the next closest rushing attack at 335.7 yards per game. Army's version of the triple-option finished sixth in FBS this season, averaging 309.8 rushing yards per game.
Monken has spent the past decade in a half getting a doctorate in triple-option offenses. He coached running backs at Georgia Southern from 1997-01, then coached running backs at Navy from 2002-07. After that, he spent two seasons coaching running backs and special teams at Georgia Tech before taking over at Georgia Southern.
“I am thrilled to accept the head coaching position at West Point,” said Monken. “Not only is the United States Military Academy one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world, it boasts one of the nation's richest, most historic traditions in all of college football. I am anxious to get started...meet our players, put our coaching staff in place, and begin preparations for the 2014 football season.
“There are so many people I would like to thank for this tremendous opportunity, starting with Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan and our Superintendent, Gen. Bob Caslen,” continued Monken. “I am honored and humbled by their trust in me to lead the West Point football program. I have had the privilege of serving as a coach for several outstanding institutions and am thankful to all of the student-athletes, coaches, and administrators with whom I have worked. Because of their commitment, dedication, and loyalty, this opportunity to serve at West Point has been afforded to me. More than anyone else, I want to thank the men and women who have served and continue to serve our nation in the United States Army. I am proud to be your head football coach.”
Army will hold a press conference to introduce its 37th head coach on Monday, Dec. 30, at 11 a.m. ET.
Monken is the 12th FBS head coach to be hired this season, following Steve Sarkisian (USC), Chris Petersen (Washington), Bryan Harsin (Boise State), Blake Anderson (Arkansas State), Craig Bohl (Wyoming), Chris Creighton (Eastern Michigan), Chuck Martin (Miami, Ohio), Bob Diaco (Connecticut), Dave Clawson (Wake Forest), Dino Babers (Bowling Green) and Charlie Partridge (Florida Atlantic). Monken's departure from Georgia Southern keeps the number of open FBS head coaching positions at two: Texas and Georgia Southern - the Eagles join the Sun Belt in 2014.