Jeff Monken, named Army’s 37th individual head coach on Dec. 24, 2013, begins his second season as head football coach.
Monken shows a 42-24 career record as a head coach, including a 4-8 mark in his initial season at West Point.
In Monken’s first season at Army, he guided the Black Knights to home victories over Buffalo, Ball State and Fordham, in addition to a dramatic win against Connecticut at Yankee Stadium.
Under his guidance, running back Larry Dixon, linebacker Jeremy Timpf, defensive back Josh Jenkins and offensive lineman Matt Hugenberg earned 11 citations on postseason all-star teams and two players, Joe Drummond and Dixon competed in The Medal of Honor Bowl Game and East-West Shrine Game, respectively.
Army was fifth in the country in rushing offense at 296.5 yards per game in Monken’s first season and sixth in fewest penalties per game with just 4.08 infractions per contest.
Monken tutored a host of players who listed in the national rankings. Timpf was seventh in the nation in solo tackles per game and 23rd in tackles per game. Jenkins was eighth in the country in blocked kicks and 33rd in interceptions per game and both Lamar Johnson-Harris and Xavier Moss ranked 11th in punt return touchdowns. Dixon listed nationally in rushing yards per carry (30th), rushing yards (39th) and rushing yards per game (41st).
With a 47-39 win against Buffalo, Monken became the first head coach to win his first game since Bob Sutton did so in 1991 with a victory over Colgate. Prior to Monken, the last Army coach to win his first game against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent was Ed Cavanaugh in 1980.
Monken came to the banks of the Hudson River following a successful stint as a head at Georgia Southern.
He spent 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 spearheaded the programs transition to the elite Football Bowl Subdivision level from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) ranks.
Georgia Southern, which joined the Sun Belt Conference following Monken’s tenure, 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.
"I am thrilled to accept the head coaching position at West Point," said Monken at the time of his hiring. "Not only is the United States Military Academy one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world, it boasts one of the nation's richest, most historic traditions in all of college football. "There are so many people I would like to thank for this tremendous opportunity, starting with Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan and our Superintendent, Gen. Bob Caslen. I am honored and humbled by their trust in me to lead the West Point football program. I have had the privilege of serving as a coach for several outstanding institutions and am thankful to all of the student-athletes, coaches, and administrators with whom I have worked. Because of their commitment, dedication, and loyalty, this opportunity to serve at West Point has been afforded to me. 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. "
Monken and Johnson are the only coaches in Georgia Southern school history to win at least 10 games in each of their first three seasons.
"Jeff Monken is an outstanding football coach. He is a tireless worker who will do the right things to build a program and he will be a great leader," said Johnson.
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 and 10 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. Walter Payton Award candidate Jerick McKinnon and running back Dominique Swope established the NCAA record for rushing yards by teammates with 3,063.
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 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.
Monken and his wife Beth reside at West Point with their three daughters, Isabelle, Amelia and Evangeline.