Army Black Knights Football Coaching Staff 2024

    Jeff Monken returns as the Army Black Knights head coach for the 2024 college campaign, but who makes up the rest of the Army coaching staff?

    Army head coach Jeff Monken is 4-1 in bowl games in his time at West Point, but the Black Knights haven’t made a bowl in two seasons after finishing 6-6 in 2022 and 2023. In an effort to change that in the 2024 campaign, Monken shook up his staff a little bit while returning most of his coaches.

    Ahead of Monken’s 11th season at Army West Point, let’s examine the Black Knights coaching staff for 2024.

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    Army Black Knights Coaching Staff 2024

    Head Coach, Jeff Monken

    Monken started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Hawaii (1989-1990) under the mentorship of the Rainbow Warriors OC Paul Johnson. He was then a GA at Arizona State in 1991 before getting his first on-field role as receivers and tight end coach at Buffalo (1992-1994).

    He moved down to the high school ranks for two seasons before Johnson brought him back to the college level. Johnson had just gotten his first head coach job at Georgia Southern, so he brought Monken to coach the running backs.

    It was the first of three different programs Monken would direct the running backs for Johnson, Georgia Southern (1997-2001), Navy (2002-2007) and Georgia Tech (2008-2009).

    Just as his mentor did, Monken accepted his first head coach job at Georgia Southern, returning to Statesboro to coach the Eagles from 2010-2013. The Eagles had four winning seasons under Monken with three playoff appearances. With a 38-16 career record, he left for West Point following the 2014 season.

    Monken has been the coach of the Black Knights since 2014, amassing a 70-55 record in 10 seasons at the helm for Army (2014-present), 106-71 overall. After posting a 6-18 record in his first two seasons, Army has had a .500 or better record in seven of the last eight seasons but is coming off back-to-back 6-6 finishes in 2022 and 2023.

    Defensive Coordinator, Nate Woody

    Before his coaching career, Nate Woody played at Wofford (1980-1983) as a defensive back and linebacker, an honorable mention All-American in 1983. He spent 22 years on staff — non-consecutively — for legendary Wofford head coach Mike Ayers, who coached the Terriers for 30 seasons (1988-2017) with a 207-139-1 record.

    Woody was Ayers DC for 13 seasons, with the Terriers making the Division I-AA/FCS Playoffs six times (I-AA in 2003, FCS in 2007-2008, 2010-2012) in that time. He was in charge of the Southern Conference’s leader in total defense three times, including two of his last three seasons (2010 and 2012).

    He moved on to Appalachian State and directed Mountaineer defenses that finished in the top 30 in total defense the last four of his five seasons in Boone (2014-2017). The Mountaineers won the Sun Belt co-Championship twice (2016-2017) with Woody on staff.

    Capitalizing on his success in Boone, Woody took a Power Five job as DC at Georgia Tech under Paul Johnson, Monken’s mentor, but that only lasted one season when Johnson retired following a 7-5 campaign in 2018.

    After bouncing back with a defensive analyst job at Michigan under Jim Harbaugh in 2019, Monken hired Woody as the DC at Army in 2020. The Black Knights boasted the nation’s top total defense his first season (275.3 yards allowed per game) and have a 30-19 record with him in charge of the defense for the last four years.

    • Wofford (assistant, 1988-1993; assistant, 1997-1999; DC, 2000-2012)
    • Appalachian State (DC/LB, 2013-2017)
    • Georgia Tech (DC, 2018)
    • Michigan (defensive analyst, 2019)
    • Army (DC, 2020-present)

    Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, Cody Worley

    A former quarterback at Furman (2007-2010), Cody Worley was promoted to OC last month after spending the last four seasons coaching the Black Knights’ quarterbacks. Last year’s OC, Drew Thatcher, was moved to the half-backs coach position.

    Worley started his coaching career as a quality control coach for the Citadel Bulldogs (2011-2012) before moving to quarterbacks coach in 2013.

    Worley then went to Kennesaw State to be the quarterbacks coach as part of the inaugural staff for the Owls’ first season of football in 2015. In the five seasons Worley was on staff (2015-2019), the Owls went 48-15, the winningest record for a startup collegiate program in its first five years.

    • The Citadel (quality control, 2011-2012, quarterbacks coach, 2013)
    • Kennesaw State (quarterbacks, 2015-2019)
    • Army (quarterbacks, 2020-2023, and OC, 2024)

    Special Teams Coordinator, Sean Saturnio

    One of three coaches who followed Monken from Georgia Southern, Saturnio is the only one still on his staff. He’s held five different roles on two separate teams for Monken over the last 14 seasons and is currently in his second stint as special teams coordinator for the Black Knights.

    • Waipahu High School (head coach, 2002-2010)
    • Georgia Southern (director of player personnel, 2011; tight ends, 2012-2013)
    • Army (fullbacks, 2014-2015; special teams, 2016-2017; tight ends, 2018-2019; special teams, 2020-present)

    Assistant Head Coach/Outside Linebackers, John Loose

    John Loose has been a coach for 37 years, 21 of which were under the employ of a service academy — U.S. Coast Guard Academy (DC/DB coach, 1989-1991) and Army (LB coach, 1992-1999; safeties, 2014-2018; DC, 2018-2019; OLB coach, 2020-present). He also was the DC at Lafayette for 14 seasons (2000-2013).

    Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line, Mike Viti

    A former fullback for the Black Knights (2004-2007), Mike Viti has been on staff at West Point since retiring from the military following his playing career.

    He started as the director of high school and alumni relations in 2015 before moving to fullbacks coach from 2016-2021, where he was named AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2019. He’s been the OL coach for the last two seasons.

    Halfbacks, Drew Thatcher

    Drew Thatcher was brought in as offensive coordinator last season but switched to halfbacks following Worley’s elevation to OC. Before joining the Black Knights, he was the OC and QB coach at Nebraska-Kearney (2019-2022) and the OC at New Mexico Military Institute (2013-2018).

    Tight Ends, Cheston Blackshear

    Cheston Blackshear was hired in Jan. after spending the last two seasons on staff at Florida as an offensive line quality control coach. Before that, he was the OL and TE coach at Dartmouth (2018-2021), Nevada (2014-2017), New Mexico (2009-2012), and Columbia (2006-2008), and the TE coach at Georgetown in 2013.

    Defensive Line, Sean Cronin

    Sean Cronin is in his third season at West Point as DL coach after two seasons in the same position at Colorado State (2020-2021).

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    His first DL coach job came at The Citadel in 2009 before taking over the DL job at Marshall (2010) and then Temple (2011-2012), before going back to Marshall to coach defensive ends (2013-2016. He then spent four years at South Florida coaching DT’s (2017-2018) and LB’s (2020).

    Corners, Daryl Dixon

    Daryl Dixon is entering his ninth season with the Black Knights, serving as corners coach since 2019 after being the OLB coach in 2016-2018. He was at Ball State the eight seasons prior as OLB, corners, and safeties coach from 2008-2015, where he was named MAC Recruiter of the Year by ESPN in 2012.

    Offensive Line, Matt Drinkall

    Matt Drinkall has been with Army since 2019, but his roles have shifted over the last few years. He started out as offensive quality control in 2019 before taking over as TE coach from 2020-2022. He was the co-OC and OL coach in 2023, but he is back to solely focusing on the offensive line in 2024.

    Running Backs, Blake Powers

    Blake Powers has been with Army since 2018, but started out in admissions and didn’t switch to coaching until the 2022 season to coach the fullbacks. He took over as the tight ends coach in 2023, and now he’s moved to running backs.

    Receivers, Aaron Smith

    In his third season with the Black Knights, Aaron Smith was previously the receivers coach at his alma mater, UConn (2007-2021). He worked with Randy Edsall at the Huskies, who also coached him there when he played from 2006-2008.

    Safeties, Danny Verpaele

    Danny Verpaele and Monken were reunited before the 2023 season, with Verpaele working on Monken’s staff at West Point as a quality control coach in 2014-2015. He went on to be the DC and LB coach at Valdosta State (2016-2018), DC and safeties coach at Kennesaw State (2019-2022).

    Inside Linebackers, Justin Weaver

    Justin Weaver returns for a second season on staff after serving as a director of on-campus recruiting in 2017 and quality control coach in 2018 for the Black Knights.

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    He was the DC at the United States Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS) from 2019-2021 and the head coach in 2022.

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