Sure, you can boil Army football coach Jeff Monken’s new contract down to its purest form: Beat Navy, get paid. If you doubt December’s streak-busting win had anything to do with the deal, you haven’t been tracking with academy football for the last, oh, 120 years or so.
But as hard as it may be for some fans to admit, there’s more to an Army head coach’s job than winning one particular game a season. He has to build a team without the benefit of multiple five-star recruits and be able to compete against some of the best programs in college football. And above all, he has to accept that his program is a part of, but ultimately secondary to, the greater goal of West Point: Building future Army leaders.
It takes the right personality to fill that spot. Someone who’d head to Afghanistan with the school’s superintendent just months after being hired and call it the “trip of a lifetime.” Someone who plans to keep a locker in place in honor of cornerback Brandon Jackson, who died in a car wreck last year, until Jackson’s class graduates. Someone who can maximize the available football talent via tactics, such as an offense that’s averaging 42.5 points a game while completing two (2) passes. Total. In two games.
And, yes, someone who can end a Navy win streak. And possibly start an Army one. That’s what Army has with Monken, so it’s smart to lock him in for as long as possible.