Georgia Southern hires new football coach

Photo by Scott Chancey

Photo by Scott Chancey

STATESBORO -- Georgia Southern appears it wants to get as far away as possible from the pass-happy "Hatch Attack" and return to the triple-option plan from its glory days.

After firing Chris Hatcher, who tried to implement his passing game that won a national title at Valdosta State, the Eagles on Sunday hired current Georgia Tech assistant Jeff Monken, who coaches slot backs and special teams under Jackets coach Paul Johnson. While Monken was an assistant under Johnson at Georgia Southern, the Eagles won two FCS championships and five Southern Conference crowns with the triple-option. During the 1998 season, which the Eagles lost in the national title game, Monken mentored All-SoCon and All-American Corey Joyner. who is the older brother of ex-Albany State and Dougherty High School star Uyl Joyner. Uyl Joyner recently completed his first season as Albany State's quarterbacks coach.

Using that same triple-option offense, Monken helped play a key role in the resurgence of Georgia Tech football over the past two seasons, and helping the 10-2 Yellow Jackets capture the ACC Coastal Division title and a berth in the ACC championship game against Clemson on Saturday. Monken will begin his duties at Georgia Southern following that game.

Georgia Southern ranked among the Top 5 teams in rushing offense all five of Monken's years there, leading the nation in 1999 (419 ypg) and 2001 (323.6 ypg).

The Eagles likewise finished among the Top 15 national scoring leaders in four of those five seasons -- including a nation's best 50.0 ppg in 1999. Monken also successfully oversaw the Eagles' special teams units, with his punt team ranking fourth nationally in 2001, averaging a net of 38.7 yards.

After the 2001 season, Monken joined Johnson at Navy, where he spent six seasons coaching the Midshipmen's A-backs and, starting in 2005, serving as special teams coordinator. Part of a staff that led Navy to success unseen in Annapolis in decades, Monken contributed to a prolific offensive system that led the Midshipmen to five straight bowl appearances and five consecutive Commander-in-Chief trophies between 2003 and 2007.

Monken has experienced a wide variety of duties throughout his coaching career, which began in 1989 as a graduate assistant at Hawaii. After a one-year stint as a graduate assistant at Arizona State in 1991, he moved on to Buffalo, where he served as a 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).

"Georgia Southern football has a success story like none other. I am extremely honored to represent Georgia Southern University as its head football coach and thrilled for the opportunity to serve the young men entrusted to the leadership of our staff. Having been an Eagle assistant coach for five tremendous seasons, I know that being the head coach at Georgia Southern is an incredible opportunity," said Monken.