By Gary Lambrecht
Senior nose guard from Phoenix, Ariz.
Senior linebacker from Cedar Park, Texas
Junior linebacker from Ramona, Calif.
Junior punter from Mission Viejo, Calif.
Navy-Temple Football 12-3-16
Navy-Fordham Football 9-3-16
Navy vs. Rutgers FB 9-20-14
Navy at Temple 9-6-14
2013 Armed Forces Bowl Game
Steve Johns is in his 10th year at the Naval Academy coaching the inside linebackers.
Navy has compiled a 77-41 (.653) record during Johns’ tenure, beating Army eight times, earning eight bowl bids, winning four bowl games, winning five Commander-In-Chief’s Trophies and beating Notre Dame three times.
Navy finished the 2016 campaign with a 9-5 mark and a 7-1 record in the American Athletic Conference despite a season that saw the Mids have 102 missed games by starters or key contributors. The Mids played Temple in the AAC Championship Game and played in a bowl game (Armed Forces) for the 13th time in the last 14 years. The nine wins tied for the fifth most in school history. Outside linebacker D.J. Palmore was named First-Team All-East. Linebacker Micah Thomas was named Second-Team All-AAC and Honorable Mention All-East.
In 2015, Navy won a school-record 11 wins against two losses, qualified for a bowl game for the 12th time in the last 13 years, won a bowl game for the 10th time in school history (beat Pittsburgh, 44-28, in the Military Bowl), won a bowl game for a third straight year for the first time in school history, defeated Army for a series-record 14th consecutive year, won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the third time in the last four years, won the Lambert Trophy as the best team in the East for the first time since 1963, finished 18th in the country in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls and shared the West Division title of the American Athletic Conference with Houston in Navy’s first year of being in a conference after being an Independent for 134 years.
As a team, the defense finished the 2015 season ranked 32nd in rushing defense (143.0), 40th in total defense (364.9), 26th in scoring defense (21.8), 12th in red zone defense (.737), 13th in turnovers gained (27), first in fumbles recovered (15), third in turnover margin (+1.46), first in fewest penalties per game (3.1) and first in fewest penalty yards per game (26.1).
Navy finished the 2014 campaign with an 8-5 record, 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.
Linebacker Jordan Drake was named All-Independent by Phil Steele, while long snapper Joe Cardona was selected to play in the Senior Bowl and was invited to the NFL Combine. Punter Pablo Beltran was named All-East and All-Independent. Beltran finished his career with a 41.6 career average, the second-best average in school history.
Navy finished the 2013 campaign with a 9-4 record, won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy, won a bowl game (beat Middle Tennessee, 24-6, in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl) and defeated Army.
Linebackers Cody Peterson and DJ Sargenti had seasons to remember as Peterson finished tied for second in the country in solo tackles per game (7.2) and tied for seventh in total tackles per game (10.9). Peterson’s 142 tackles were the most by a Navy player since Javier Zuluaga in 1992. Sargenti, who had never recorded a tackle prior to his senior year, recorded 110 tackles on the year, including 71 solo stops. He finished 25th in the country in solo tackles per game (5.5).
Johns 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.
The Mids posted an impressive 9-4 record in 2010, defeated Army, defeated Notre Dame in consecutive seasons for only the third time in school history and appeared in a bowl game.
The 2009 season was one to remember, as the Mids 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 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.
The Mids posted an 8-5 record in 2008 and participated in the EagleBank Bowl. The Mids won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy thanks to a 33-27 victory over Air Force and a 34-0 win over Army.
Before coming to Navy, Johns spent two seasons at Grossmont Junior College in El Cajon, Calif., where he served as the defensive coordinator and was a professor in the exercise science department. In 2006, the Griffins were Foothill Conference Champions and posted a 10-2 record thanks to a defense that gave up a school-record 7.6 points per contest.
In 2005, Johns served as defensive coordinator at the University of La Verne in La Verne, Calif., where he led the Leopards to their first winning season in eight years.
Johns coached at UNLV from 1999-2004, serving as a graduate assistant (defensive ends and punt team) for one year before being hired on full time and coaching the linebackers, coordinating the special teams and handling the recruiting coordinator duties for the final five seasons.
Johns began his coaching career at Occidental College, where he coached the defensive line from 1993-95. He coached at the University of San Diego in 1996, serving as the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator, before moving on to the University of La Verne, where he coached the defensive line in 1997 and the defensive backs in 1998, while also coordinating the special teams.
Johns is a 1991 graduate of Occidental College, where he was all-conference and team captain and earned his bachelor’s in political science in 1991 and his Master’s in education in 1995. In 2006, he earned a Masters of Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy.
Steve and his wife, Kristin, have two sons, Sam and Benjamin, and a daughter, Lily.