Monken, Black Knights eager to start new era

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm •  Published: December 30, 2013
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WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — When Jeff Monken arrived for his interview during Army's coaching search, he brought with him impressive credentials, an offensive mindset, and a driven determination.

He also knew exactly what to say and when to say it.

"What you will find with Jeff is that there aren't a whole lot of details that he doesn't already know the answer to," Black Knights athletic director Boo Corrigan said. "He understands what this is. He didn't come here not to win."

Even though he has a lot of work ahead of him to reach that point.

A week after his hire, Monken was formally introduced as Army's new coach on Monday. He is the 37th coach of the Black Knights, and inherits a program that went 3-9 this season, ending the campaign with a 34-7 loss to Navy.

Monken arrives at West Point from Georgia Southern, an FCS program where he went 38-16 in four seasons. The Eagles will join the Sun Belt Conference next year and be members of FBS thanks in part to Monken's efforts. He won at least 10 games in each of their first three seasons there, and was a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award in 2012.

"As we went through that process, we established a number of tenants who we thought were best fit for this job," Corrigan said. "We were looking for an understanding and appreciation of West Point. We were looking for someone with the ability to inspire. We were looking for someone who had an established tradition of winning and, an insatiable advocate to recruit.

"There was one person who kept coming up."

Army ended the season on a five-game losing streak, and lost both of its games vs. other service academies, including a 42-28 defeat at Air Force. The Black Knights' victories came against Morgan State, Louisiana Tech, and Eastern Michigan.

"We've already begun the process of recruiting and have reached out to young men all over the country who I know will be honored to join this program and get Army football back to national prominence," Monken said. "We will give all of our cadets and the men and women who serve a team they can be proud of.

"Go Army and we will beat Navy."

Monken will carry on the famed offensive tradition with Army — and that is to run the football ... plenty. At Georgia Southern, his team led the NCAA in rushing in 2012 (399.36 yards per game). In 2011, the Eagles were ranked No. 1 in the FCS polls for seven weeks.

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