Zach Abey ran for two touchdowns in his first career start at quarterback
By Gary Lambrecht
Navy is making its 11th bowl appearance in the last 12 years.
Reynolds scores both a passing and rushing touchdown in victory.
Niumatalolo and Monken were on the same staff at both Hawai'i and Navy
Monken is part of a staff that has brought the Midshipmen back into the national spotlight with a 35-15 (.700) record over the last four years and has helped lead Navy to a school-record four-straight bowl games and a school-record four-consecutive Commander-In-Chief's Trophies. The 35 wins are the second most in school history over a four-year time span.
Navy's slot backs, or A-Backs as they are called in Navy's triple-option offense, once again made huge plays in 2006 to help Navy lead the nation in rushing, averaging a school-record 327 yards per contest.
The slots rushed for 1,619 yards and 13 touchdowns on just 196 carries (8.4 yards per carry) in 2006. Reggie Campbell set a single-season school record by averaging 7.1 yards per carry and his career average of 7.9 yards per carry is third all-time at Navy.
In 2005, Monken was part of a staff that helped the Mids average a nation's-best 318.7 yards per contest as Navy won a school-record second-straight bowl game and won the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy. As a unit, Monken's slot backs rushed for 1,399 yards and 19 touchdowns on just 169 carries (8.3 yards per carry) and caught 29 passes for 683 yards and four touchdowns (23.6 yards per reception).
Campbell tied Barry Sanders, among others, in the NCAA record books when he scored five touchdowns in a bowl game as the Mids routed Colorado State, 51-30, to win the Poinsettia Bowl.
In 2004, Monken's efforts helped the slot backs perform well enough for the Midshipmen to finish 45th in the country in total offense (388.8 yards per game), third in rushing offense (289.5), win a school-record tying 10 games (the most wins since 1905), win the Emerald Bowl and claim the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy in back-to-back years.
One of Monken's pupils, Eric Roberts, became the first player in Navy history and just the 35th player in NCAA history to have over 1,000 career rushing and receiving yards.
In 2003, Navy's slot backs were explosive, averaging 9.8 yards per carry and 21.8 yards per catch as the Mids led the nation in rushing (323.2 yards per contest) and set school records for rushing yards per game, total rushing yards (4,202), rushing yards per attempt (5.5), rushing touchdowns (44), total offense (5,506), total offense per game (423.5) and yards per play (6.0).
In 2002, Navy had the third-best rushing average in the country (270.75) and scored 30 or more points on four occasions.
Monken came to Navy from Georgia Southern, where he coached the slot backs. Georgia Southern was the top-ranked rushing team in the country in 1999 (419 yards per game) and 2001 (323.6 yards per game).
Monken also headed up Georgia Southern's kickoff and punt return teams, as well as the punt team. Georgia Southern's punt team was fourth in the nation in 2001, averaging a net of 38.71 yards.
Monken has experienced a wide variety of duties throughout his career -- beginning in 1989 as a graduate assistant at Hawai'i. After a one-year stint as a graduate assistant at Arizona State in 1991, he moved on to Buffalo, where he served as the wide receivers and tight ends coach and was the recruiting coordinator. Prior to his arrival in Statesboro, he also served on the staffs at Morton (Ill.) High School (head coach) and Concordia (Ill.) University (offensive line).
Monken comes from a long line of coaches, as 12 members of his family have been or currently are high school or college football coaches. Monken's father, Mike, and his four brothers were all head high school coaches at the same time in Illinois and were featured in Sports Illustrated.
The Joliet, Ill., native earned a bachelor's degree from Millikin in 1989, where he played wide receiver for four years and was a two-time letterwinner in track. In 1991, Monken earned his master's degree from the University of Hawai'i. Monken and his wife Beth, who is the Navy cheerleading coach, have a daughter, Isabelle (4).