Georgia Southern’s Monken to Army
By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Though an official press conference isn't likely for a few days, it appears Army will hire Jeff Monken as its next head football coach.
Georgia Southern head football coach Jeff Monken will reportedly accept the same position at Army, with a contract still being finalized, Sal Interdonato of the Inside Army Football Blog has reported. A source has confirmed the news to Southern Pigskin. An assistant for Paul Johnson at multiple programs before coming to Statesboro, Monken compiled a 38-16 record in four years with the Eagles. He led Georgia Southern to three consecutive semifinal appearances in the playoffs in his first three seasons. Monken went 7-4 this past fall, the last for the Eagles in the FCS, with Georgia Southern beating Florida 26-20 in his final game. The move adds to the transition for the Eagles as the school will compete in the FBS Sun Belt Conference in 2014.
Monken has service academy experience as he worked under Johnson at Navy from 2002-2007. In various roles, Monken has followed Johnson for much of his career. Monken's coaching debut, coming as a graduate assistant at Hawaii from 1989-1990, came while Johnson was the offensive coordinator for the Warriors. The two reunited when Johnson was named head coach at Georgia Southern in 1997. Monken stayed with Johnson during his entire five-year stint with the Eagles before following his mentor to Annapolis and, ultimately, Georgia Tech.
Of his accomplishments, Monken reestablished a Georgia Southern tradition with a return to the triple-option. After the Eagles averaged just 96.5 rushing yards per game in the season prior to his arrival, Monken's offense was totaling 399.4 yards per game three years later. In two games against SEC competition during his stay, Georgia Southern rushed for 302 yards against Alabama in 2011 and 429 yards versus Florida in 2013. Those totals were season highs for the Crimson Tide and Gators alike. Alabama allowed just 72.2 yards rushing per game in 2011, tops in college football.
Army fired head football coach Rich Ellerson after he went 20-41 in five years at West Point. Per Interdonato, Monken was one of the last interviews in December of 2008 before Ellerson was hired. Monken will be asked to retool an option attack that averaged nearly 310 rushing yards per game, but only resulted in a 24 points per contest for the Cadets. Monken's tasks will also include making Army more competitive with rival Navy as the Cadets have lost a dozen straight games to the Midshipmen. Additionally, the program has made just one bowl game since 1996. Monken will debut with Army on Saturday, September 6th, 2014 when the Cadets host Buffalo.
Attempts by Southern Pigskin to contact Monken have not yet been returned.