Just How Impressive is Jeff Monken’s .500 Record at Army?

After Army’s commanding 52-3 victory over San Jose State this past weekend Army Football’s head coach Jeff Monken now has a record of 28-28 with the program. After over a decade of bouncing from coach to coach, Army seems to have found its match.
Put into perspective, the last Coach Army ever had that won more than half of his total games (Jim Young), not only left the program almost 30 years ago, he was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
But how exactly did Jeff Monken create a winning Army team with competition so tough especially with recruiting and an Independent schedule?
I think the answer is how rather than changing the culture at and surrounding West Point, he embraced it. Many people during the 14-game skid against Arch-Rival Navy said that the “Beat Navy” culture had become too automatic and that everyone said “Beat Navy” so much that they didn’t really mean it.
Monken came in and proved that wrong. There is hardly a single press conference or interview that he doesn’t end with “Beat Navy”. He embraces the culture that defines who Army football really is and trains his players not only to win football games but win wars.
Many people thought that in order to improve football at the Academy, a coaching staff would need to heavily compromise the academies values and mission in order to win football games, but Monken has done the opposite of that. He has embraced the culture surrounding the United States Military Academy and is creating what seems to be an Army Football dynasty.
With all of Monken’s achievements there’s still one question on everyone’s mind though, “Is this Army Team truly successful”? “Has Jeff Monken truly turned Army into a successful program”?
This is a hard one to answer because success is very relative. To an Alabama fan, it would hardly seem like a successful season if they didn’t win a championship. How can we define success for the Army team? I believe that for Army or any other Group 5 team success is defined by whether or not a team is “scary”. A “scary” team is one that no matter how tough the opponent, they are able to put the perfect little seed of doubt in the back of their opponent’s mind that maybe, just maybe, they are in for a tougher game than they expected. And well, if that Oklahoma game shows anything… yeah, Army’s pretty scary.

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