Monken Introduced As New Army Football Coach

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WEST POINT, N.Y. - Saying he believes in the details and stressing the importance of fundamentals, Jeff Monken was officially introduced as Army's new football coach during a press conference Monday morning at Nowak Auditorium.

Monken was announced as Army's 37th head coach on Dec. 24 and met with local and national media for the time since taking the reins of the storied program.

Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Boo Corrigan introduced Monken and both men stressed the importance of a winning football program.

Following a brief introduction, Monken answered questions from local, regional and national media, detailing his ties to the triple-option offense, his years spent as an assistant at Georgia Tech and his time as the head coach at Georgia Southern.

With his wife, Beth, three daughters, Isabelle, Amelia and Evangeline, and parents Mike and Nancy with him at West Point, Monken passionately detailed his plans for West Point, stressed the need to win, saying "we have cadets here who will be serving and second-place is not OK so it won't be with us."

Monken spent the last four seasons as head coach at Georgia Southern after learning the triple-option offense under one of the nation's premier option proponents, Paul Johnson, during assistant coaching stints at Navy and Georgia Tech.

During his four seasons at Georgia Southern, Monken authored a 38-16 mark and was spearheaded the programs transition to the elite Football Bowl Subdivision level from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) ranks.

Georgia Southern, which will join the Sun Belt Conference next year, was a member of the FCS and qualified for the NCAA playoffs in all three eligible seasons under Monken, advancing to the national semifinals each year while posting double-digit victory totals.

Monken guided tradition-rich Georgia Southern to some of the biggest wins in school history, with the most memorable arguably a 26-20 victory at Florida in November at the vaunted "Swamp." Despite that headline-grabbing victory, Georgia Southern was not eligible for the FCS playoffs this season due to its transitional status.

Monken and Johnson are the only coaches in school history to win at least 10 games in each of their first three seasons.

A finalist for the 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award, Monken guided Georgia Southern to 10 wins his first season, 11 his second and10 in his third. His 2013 squad posted a 7-4 mark, including the stunning, season-ending upset of Florida in Gainesville.

Under Monken's guidance, Georgia Southern was one of the top rushing teams at the FCS level, claiming the NCAA rushing title in 2012 at 399.36 yards per contest.

Monken coached a lengthy list of all-stars, including the school's highest-ever National Football League draft choice, safety J.J. Wilcox, a third-round selection of the Dallas Cowboys in 2013.

In 2011, Georgia Southern was ranked No. 1 in both FCS polls for seven weeks and stopped Wofford, 31-10, to win its ninth Southern Conference championship. Five players were named All-America, Brent Russell was selected Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Monken earned conference Coach of the Year plaudits and Dominique Swope was named Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. Home playoff wins against Old Dominion and Maine were part of the Eagles' memorable 11-3 campaign.

Monken got off to a great start in his first year as Georgia Southern's head coach, knocking off top-ranked and previously unbeaten Appalachian State as part of a 10-5 season. Georgia Southern ended the season with three straight wins to qualify for the postseason and registered three playoff victories to advance to the national semifinals.

In addition to the success on the field, Monken helped Georgia Southern reemerge academically with the team's cumulative grade point average ranking as the highest in school history in each of his first two seasons.

Not only was Georgia Southern successful in the classroom and on the football field under Monken, but the players and staffs were part of several community service programs and local events.

Monken was named Georgia Southern's head coach in November of 2009, continuing a family history of football coaches. Jeff's father, Mike, and a dozen family members have coached at the high school, collegiate or professional levels.

Monken's first head coaching job came after accumulating 20 years of experience as an assistant, 13 of them with his mentor Johnson. Monken coached slotbacks at Georgia Southern from 1997 to 2001 before joining Johnson first at Navy and then Georgia Tech.

As an assistant coach at Georgia Southern, Monken was part of two NCAA FCS National Championship squads (1999 and 2000) and five straight playoff teams. Georgia Southern was among the top-five rushing teams in all five seasons and twice led the nation in rushing. Four out of five seasons, the Eagles ranked in the top-15 in scoring as well.

After serving as an assistant at Georgia Southern, Monken accepted a position on Johnson's coaching staff at Navy. Monken not only mentored slotbacks, he later added special teams coordinator duties.

In Annapolis, Monken helped the Midshipmen to five straight Commander in Chief trophies and five consecutive bowl appearances, including a 10-win season in 2004.

Following his time at Navy, Monken moved to Georgia Tech where for two seasons he served as slotbacks coach and special teams coordinator. The Yellow Jackets posted double-digit wins in 2009 and captured the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, although that title was later vacated.

Monken began his coaching career in 1989 as a graduate assistant at the University Hawai'i and later spent one season at Arizona State University. Monken moved to University of Buffalo as the wide receivers and tight ends coach and also handled recruiting. He served on the staffs at Morton (Ill.) High School as head coach and at Concordia University in Illinois as the offensive line coach as well.

A native of Joliet, Ill, Monken played wide receiver for four years and earned two varsity letters in track and field while earning his bachelor's degree from Millikin University in 1989. He was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in October and collected his master's degree from Hawai'i in 1991.

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