The Mids own a 9-7 all-time record over the Blue Hens and have won two straight in the series.
Niumatalolo, Culton and Vickers met with the media following Tuesday's practice
By Bob Socci
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Chris Culton is entering his 13th year at the Naval Academy and his eighth coaching the offensive tackles. He coached the fullbacks his first five years at Navy. He has been an integral part of a staff that has brought the Midshipmen back into the national spotlight with a 100-54 (.649) record over the last 12 years, that includes 11 bowl games, nine Commander-In-Chief’s Trophies and a 13-0 mark against Army.
Navy has won at least nine games five times in the last 11 years. Before the current streak, Navy had won nine or more games just five times in the previous 77 seasons.
Navy finished the 2014 campaign with an 8-5 record, qualified for a bowl game for the 11th time in the last 12 years, won a bowl game for just the ninth time in school history (beat San Diego State, 17-16, in the Poinsettia Bowl), won a bowl game in back-to-back years for the second time in school history and defeated Army for a series-record 13th consecutive year. Head coach Ken Niumatalolo (57-35, .620) became the all-time winningest coach in school history in 2014, passing George Welsh, when Navy defeated Army for a record 13th-consecutive time. The victory over the Black Knights also made Niumatalolo the first coach in the history of the Army-Navy game to start his coaching career 7-0 against the other Academy.
Navy ranked second in the nation in rushing in 2014 (338.1 yards per game), second in passing yards per completion (17.1 yards per completion) and 11th in third down offense (.481).
Navy finished the 2013 campaign with a 9-4 record, won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the ninth time in the last 11 years, qualified for a bowl game for the 10th time in the last 11 years, won a bowl game for just the eighth time in school history (beat Middle Tennessee, 24-6, in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl) and defeated Army for a series-record 12th consecutive year. The 2013 squad is just the fifth in Navy history to win at least nine games in a season, beat Army and win a bowl game. The 1957, 1978, 2004 and 2009 teams also achieved that feat.
The offense led the nation in fewest turnovers (10), was second in rushing offense (325.4), third in fewest tackles for a loss allowed per game (3.62), sixth in passing yards per completion (15.1), sixth in third down conversions (.511), 11th in fourth down conversions (.679) and 12th in fewest fumbles lost (6).
Navy scored a touchdown on 45 percent (58-130) of its drives last year, which was the sixth-best percentage in the country, and went three-and-out just 17 percent of the time (23 times in 135 possessions), which was tied for the fourth-best percentage in the country.
Culton helped lead Navy to an 8-5 record in 2012 and a berth in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Navy defeated Air Force, 28-21, in overtime and Army, 17-13, to win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy.
Navy was 5-7 in 2011 that included a series record 10th-straight victory over Army. Navy played seven teams that finished with a winning record and six that went to bowl games.
The Mids posted an impressive 9-4 record in 2010, defeated Army for a series-record ninth-consecutive time, defeated Notre Dame in consecutive seasons for only the third time in school history and appeared in a school-record eighth-consecutive bowl game. The Mids finished sixth in the country in rushing offense (284.8).
The 2009 season was one to remember for the Midshipmen, as Navy tied a school record for wins with 10, won a school-record seventh-consecutive Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy, appeared in a school-record seventh-consecutive bowl game, beat Notre Dame in South Bend for the second-straight time and ran its winning streak against the other two Service Academies to an amazing 15 straight games. The Mids capped the season off with a 35-13 rout of Missouri in the Texas Bowl.
In 2008, Navy posted an 8-5 record, including a 24-17 victory over 16th-ranked Wake Forest, which was Navy’s first win over a team ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 since 1985. The Mids won a sixth-straight Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy with wins over Air Force and Army.
The 2007 season was a historical one as well as the Midshipmen posted an 8-5 record, won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy, appeared in a school-record fifth-straight bowl game and defeated Notre Dame for the first time since 1963.
Culton had to play three different fullbacks in 2006 due to injury (Ballard, Kettani and Matt Hall), but they combined to rush for 1,274 yards and five touchdowns as once again the Mids won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy and participated in a bowl game.
In 2005, Culton was part of a staff that helped the Mids average a nation’s best 318.7 yards per contest, win a school-record second-straight bowl game and claim the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy
In 2004, Culton’s efforts helped the Midshipmen to finish third in the country in rushing (289.5), win a school-record tying 10 games (the most wins since 1905), claim the Emerald Bowl and win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy .
In 2003, Culton was part of a staff that helped the Mids lead the nation in rushing and set seven school records as Navy went 8-5, won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy and earned a berth in the Houston Bowl.
Culton came to the Naval Academy from Rhode Island, where he coached the offensive line for one year.
Culton is a 2001 graduate of Georgia Southern where he was a student-assistant coach for four years after suffering a severe neck injury during spring practice of his freshman year that ended his football career.
Culton is married to the former Amanda Pendergrass. They have two daughters, Julie Grace and Ella, and two sons, Reilley and Bain.