Army has officially named Jeff Monken as its new head football coach, according to NBC Sports' John Taylor.
Monken, who signed a six-year deal, per Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated, will be introduced to fans and media at a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Monday, Dec. 30.
A former Navy assistant in the mid-2000s, Monken spent the past four seasons as the head coach at Georgia Southern, going 38-16 in four seasons at the helm and leading the Eagles to three consecutive FCS national semifinal appearances from 2010 to 2012.
Monken expressed his excitement via a statement put out by the school, per Taylor:
I am thrilled to accept the head coaching position at West Point. 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. I am anxious to get started...meet our players, put our coaching staff in place, and begin preparations for the 2014 football season.
Sophomore quarterback A.J. Schurr was among the first to welcome the new head coach:
Others, like St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat writer Jim Thomas, offered well wishes to Monken:
Monken's most notable victory at Georgia Southern came on Nov. 23 when his Eagles upset the Florida Gators, 26-20, in The Swamp without completing a single pass.
The 46-year-old Peoria, Ill., native replaces Rich Ellerson, who was fired on Dec. 15. Ellerson went 20-41 in five seasons at West Point, leading the Black Knights to just one winning season in 2010. Army finished 3-9 in 2013 before Ellerson was let go.
Although Army has had just one winning season since the start of 1997, expectations will surely be high for Monken, who was extremely successful in his first head coaching stint with the Eagles. The newly appointed head coach can quickly make a name for himself if he's able to lead Army to a win over archrival Navy next season.
The Black Knights have dropped 12 straight to the Midshipmen and currently trail in the all-time series; 58-49-7. Ellerson went 0-5 against Navy and lost by two or more touchdowns on three occasions, so fans will be eager to see Monken get things turned around.
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