Niumatalolo Announces Changes In Coaching Responsibilities
Feb. 5, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md.--Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo announced Saturday that Keith Jones will move from outside linebackers coach to secondary coach, Tony Grantham has been elevated from assistant outside linebackers coach to outside linebackers coach and Napoleon Sykes will move from assistant secondary coach to assistant outside linebacker coach. Defensive coordinator Buddy Green will still work with the secondary as well, but will also have more freedom during practice to look at the other positions.
"I am really excited about these changes, I think it will make us stronger all around on the defensive side of the football," said Niumatalolo. "Keith has a strong background in the secondary and Tony has proven to be a very good outside linebackers coach. Napoleon played linebacker at Wake Forest and was very impressive in his first year and will team up with Tony to give us a lot of energy at the outside linebacker spot and this will free Buddy up to move around a little bit during practice and get a good look at everybody."
Jones has coached the secondary for most of his career. He and Green coached the secondary together in 2002 and 2003 at Navy. In 2003, Jones helped the defense finish 14th in the nation in pass defense (61st the year before), 42nd in pass efficiency defense (116th the year before), 34th in total defense (100th the year before) and 34th in scoring defense (108th the year before) as Navy won eight games, the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy and a berth in the Houston Bowl.
Jones served as secondary coach for five years and defensive coordinator (2000) for one at The Citadel before coming to Navy. In 2001, The Citadel ranked eighth in the nation in pass efficiency defense (92.93 yards per game) and 14th (153.4 yards per game) in pass defense. He worked with the legendary Willie Jeffries at South Carolina State where he coached the defensive secondary in 1979. He spent two seasons at North Carolina A&T (1980 and 1996) as the secondary coach and at Murray State in the same capacity from 1981-86, including a stint as the defensive coordinator his final season.
In 1987, Jones joined Frank Beamer's staff at Virginia Tech and was the secondary coach for the Hokies until 1993, when he left to become the head coach at Potomac High School in Dumfries, Va., for two seasons. Jones returned to college coaching in 1996 as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at North Carolina A&T.
During his career, Jones has coached 10 players who have gone on to play professionally, including standout defensive backs Dexter Clinckscale (Dallas Cowboys) and William Judson (Miami Dolphins).
Grantham will be entering his eighth year at Navy over two different stints. Navy has compiled a record of 27-13 (.675) since Grantham returned to Annapolis in 2008, winning two Commander-In-Chief's Trophies, earning three bowl bids, winning a bowl game (the Texas Bowl) and beating Notre Dame twice.
Grantham returned to the Naval Academy in the spring of 2008 after spending one year at Campbell University, where he served as the linebacker coach and recruiting coordinator for the Fighting Camels.
Grantham spent fours years at the Naval Academy coaching the defensive line and outside linebackers from 2003-06. Navy posted a 35-15 record in Grantham's four years in Annapolis, winning four-straight Commander-In-Chief's Trophies and appearing in four-straight bowl games.
Grantham joined the Naval Academy staff after two seasons as a graduate assistant at LSU under current Alabama head coach Nick Saban. While in Baton Rouge, Grantham spent one year working on the offensive side of the ball and one year working on the defensive side.
In 2001, the Tigers went 10-3 winning the SEC Championship and the Sugar Bowl en route to a No. 7 final national ranking. LSU finished as Co-Champions of the SEC Western Division his second season and played in the Cotton Bowl. Additionally, the Tigers finished the season ranked fifth nationally in total defense.
He began his collegiate coaching career at Eastern Illinois University where he coached the Panthers outside linebackers and special teams, as well as coordinating the scout team in 2001. EIU, behind the play of a then unknown quarterback named Tony Romo, advanced to the NCAA I-AA Playoffs and finished the season ranked 15th nationally.
Grantham's brother, Todd, is the defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia.
Sykes earned three varsity three varsity letters at Wake Forest as a linebacker and special teams performer from 2003-05. He got his coaching career started in the summer of 2006 when he served as an assistant coach at his high school alma mater, the Gilman School, in Baltimore. Sykes went on to serve as the defensive coordinator for the semi-pro Bay Atlantic Sharks that fall and helped lead them to the Semi-Pro National Championship Series.
After teaching and serving as the co-defensive coordinator at Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, N.C., in 2007, Sykes returned to his college alma mater to serve as the offensive graduate assistant in 2008 and the defensive graduate assistant in 2009.