Army Hires Jeff Monken From Georgia Southern
All eyes are on Texas once again.
Army hired Jeff Monken from Georgia Southern as its next head coach, the school announced Tuesday, leaving a single opening for head coaches at the FBS level.
Monken replaces Rich Ellerson, who went 8-28 the last three seasons as the Black Knights lost a 12th consecutive game to Navy, the longest losing streak in the history of the series. Monken, a Navy assistant coach for six seasons, went 38-16 in four seasons at Georgia Southern, including three trips to the FCS semifinals.
"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," director of athletics Boo Corrigan said in a statement.
Monken, who will be introduced at a press conference Monday, learned the triple-option offense under Paul Johnson (now coach at Georgia Tech). Although Army occasionally makes bowl games, like in 2010 when the team finished 7-5, the school rarely has sustained success in recent decades. Monken's biggest task will be ending the losing streak to Navy, though Ellerson's salary reportedly was almost half that of Midshipmen coach Ken Niumatalolo and it's unlikely Monken is earning much more.
Monken and Georgia Southern notably upset Florida, 26-20, in November, rushing for 429 yards against the Gators. Georgia Southern will transition to the Sun Belt Conference next season.
"I am honored and humbled by their trust in me to lead the West Point football program," Monken said in a statement. "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's hire represents the 11th at the FBS level this hiring season compared with 32 last year, according to Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports.