When it came to the four finalist that included Mike Sullivan, Ed Warinner, Ben Kotwica and Jeff Monken for the Army head coaching job, one could argue that either of the quartet would be a huge step in the right direction for the Black Knights' football program.
However, on Tuesday, the academy's Superintendent, Lieutenant General Robert Caslen and AD, Boo Corrigan made it official when the job was given to Monken to take over, revitalize and lead the program and become Army's 37th head coach.
Monken will bring to West Point the framework that elevated Navy's program under Paul Johnson from 2002 to 2007 -- the first six defeats Army has suffered in the current 12-game losing to the Midshipmen.
His background is on offense is the triple-option offense that is essential to service academy football.
Monken, 46, coached five years under Johnson at Georgia Southern (1997-2001) and six years at Navy (2002-07). At Navy, he worked with the slotbacks and special teams. When Johnson landed the Georgia Tech job in 2008, he followed him to the ACC school in Atlanta with the same responsibilities for the next two seasons.
Georgia Southern named Monken its head coach in 2010, and the Eagles enjoyed three straight double-digit win seasons and three consecutive trips to the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals. The Eagles in 2012 were 11-3 and ranked No. 3; in 2011, 11-3 and ranked No. 4; and in 2010, 10-5 and ranked No. 5.
Monken was still running the triple-option offense in his fourth season in 2013 when Georgia Southern ran circles around Florida on Nov. 23 in a 26-20 victory over the Gators at the Swamp in Gainesville as the The Eagles rushed for 429 yards without any passing yardage.
Georgia Southern's overall record in 2013 was only 7-4, but the win over Florida was the first time the Gators lost to a FCS member.
The 2013 season was Georgia Southern's first transitional year to the Football Bowl Subdivision as a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
Monken began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Hawaii in 1989. Ironically, that was 12 years after former Army coach Rich Ellerson started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Hawaii in 1977.
Monken's other stops before joining Johnson at Georgia Southern and Navy were at Arizona State, Buffalo, Concordia (Ill.) University and Morton (Ill.) High School.
Army will formally introduce Jeff Monken as its 37th head football coach at a press conference in Nowak Auditorium inside Randall Hall on Monday, Dec. 30.
Keep it right here on GoBlackKnights.com as we will have more coverage on the hiring of Jeff Monken as Army's new head coach.
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