Who will be the next head coach for Army?

The last six Army coaches have failed to produce anything close to a winning career record since Hall of Fame coach Jim Young resigned following the 1990 season. Is there a coach that can turn this program around? ArmySport.com will discuss seven coaching candidates in no particular order, who we believe could or at least should be interviewed.

Army has fired Rich Ellerson after his third straight losing season. Ellerson showed promise in 2010, his second season at West Point, when he led Army to their first winning season in fourteen years. Army has gone backwards in a big way since that season. The Black Knights have lost 28 of their last 36 games after winning the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl. Army football fans have now endured 23 years of mostly football futility with only three winning seasons and a morbid 84-181 record (317%) since 1991. The last six Army coaches have failed to produce anything close to a winning career record since Hall of Fame coach Jim Young resigned following the 1990 season. Is there a coach that can turn this program around? ArmySport.com will discuss seven coaching candidates in no particular order, who we believe could or at least should be interviewed.

Mike Sullivan, Tampa Bay Buccaneer Offensive Coordinator
Sullivan is in his second season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator. Sullivan's offense set franchise records for points scored, touchdowns and total yards last year. He coached under Tom Coughlin who hired him when he was the head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sullivan followed Coughlin to the New York Giants and earned two Super Bowl rings during an eight year stretch. Sullivan is a very good football coach and offensive mind. This year he rebounded from the Josh Freeman disaster at quarterback which saw Tampa Bay open the year with eight consecutive losses. He coached up third round rookie quarterback Mike Glennon as the Bucs have won 4 of their last 6 games. Sullivan is a former Army assistant coach and defensive back. He would be the ideal choice for many Army faithful because he is a West Point graduate and former player. The Bucs late season rebound may have saved Tampa Bay head coach Greg Shiano's job. Sullivan's might not want to leave the NFL for college even if it's for his alma mater. Sullivan has never been a head coach. He has nine years of college coaching experience (Army, Youngstown State, Ohio and Humboldt State) but hasn't recruited since 2001.

Ivin Jasper, Navy Offensive Coordinator
Jasper has been Navy's offensive coordinator since Ken Niumatalolo replaced Paul Johnson as head coach. Jasper, like Niumatalolo, was a Hawaii quarterback who was mentored by Johnson and followed him as a Hawaii graduate assistant to Navy, Georgia Southern and back to Navy after Johnson became the Mids head coach. Jasper is a terrific triple option offensive coordinator and has been a top recruiter during Navy's emergence as clearly the best service academy football program. Navy has compiled a 83-44 (654%) record over the last 10 years, that includes nine bowl appearances and eight Commander-In-Chief's Trophies. Jasper has excelled in recruiting and developing option quarterbacks like Craig Candeto, Aaron Polanco, Brian Hampton, Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, Jarod Bryant, Ricky Dobbs and Keenan Reynolds. Jasper was interviewed in 2008 for the vacant Black Knights head coaching position by former Army AD Kevin Anderson. Jasper withdrew his name from consideration after he realized Anderson was more interested in picking his brain about Navy's success than in offering him the job. Jasper understands what it takes to win at a service academy but has never been a head coach. His awareness of the institutional issues at West Point may cause him some concerns about the position. Some Army fans may dismiss him as a "Navy guy" due to his long association with the Midshipmen football program as a coach. I think that would be a mistake.

Jeff Monken, Georgia Southern Head Coach
Monken is another from option guru Paul Johnson's coaching tree. Monken coached under Johnson at Georgia Southern, Navy and Georgia Tech. Monken's four year career mark as a head coach at Georgia Southern is 38-16 (704%). He has restored winning football and the spread option to the traditional FCS powerhouse. His GSU teams made three straight appearances in FCS Semifinals before slumping to 7-4 this year. Monken engineered the upset of the year when George Southern went to Florida and beat the Gators 26-20 in the Swamp without throwing a pass. Georgia Southern is joining the FBS and the Sun Belt Conference. GSU is a demanding coaching job with high expectations and pressure. They have fired winning coaches like Tim Stowers (698% winning percentage who won a National championship) and Mike Sewak (714% winning percentage) in the past for not winning enough. Monken received some grief for dropping four games this year before the Florida upset in the finale. He is the fiery, intense type of coach that many Army fans crave to see roaming the sidelines at Michie Stadium. He is well organized and an excellent recruiter with service academy experience. Boo Carigan can offer Monken a nice raise over his current salary. Monken may not view the West Point job as a promotion with Georgia Southern's moving to the FBS even though it would probably offer more job security than GSU.

Jim Grobe, Former Wake Forest Head Coach
Grobe just recently resigned from Wake Forest after a 13-year run. Grobe leaves tied for the most victories in school history. Grobe led the Demon Deacons to more bowl games (5), more eight-win seasons (3), and more bowl victories (3) than any coach in school history. Grobe posted three consecutive winning seasons at Wake Forest from 2006-2008 which had not been accomplished in over 50 years. The Deacons' 33 wins from 2006-09 were the most wins ever during a four-year period of Wake Forest football. Grobe was the head coach at Ohio from 1995-2000. He used an option attack to build a program that was 0-11 and was ranked last among Division I-A programs in 1994 the year before he took the job. Grobe led the Bobcats to a cumulative six-year record of 33-33-1. Grobe has service academy experience. He served as linebackers coach from 1984 to 1994 at Air Force. Grobe has rebuilt two miserable programs from the ground up to a level of success not seen in decades. He is a good coach with a proven long time capable staff that includes a number of Air Force graduates. He had success at an academically demanding ACC school. Grobe is 61 years old and ended his Wake Forest run, for all their success, with five straight losing seasons. There may be some concerns that he lost his fastball as a coach and is too old to rebuild Army. His career coaching record is 110-115-1.

Charlie Taaffe, Central Florida Offensive coordinator
Taaffe is presently the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for head coach George O' Leary at Central Florida. In his five years as offensive coordinator UCF has compiled a 45-20 record (692%). They are currently ranked No. 15 in the nation and are scheduled to play No. 6 ranked Baylor in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Taaffe's long coaching career started in 1973. He coached at Army from 1981 to 1986. The Cadets posted a 23-13 record during the three years that Taaffe served as Jim Young's offensive coordinator. Taaffle helped Army produce back-to-back bowl victories over Big Ten opponents Michigan State (Cherry Bowl) and Illinois (Peach Bowl). His success at West Point earned him the job The Citadel. He coached the Division I-AA military academy for 10 years. His record was 55–47–1, including six seasons of .500 or better. Taaffe was the most successful football coach in The Citadel's history. In 1992 he led The Citadel to an 11–2 record and won the Eddie Robinson Award for coach of the year. Charlie coached in the CFL as both a head coach and offensive coordinator. He had success taking the Montreal Alouettes to the Grey Cup final in 2000. His last head coaching job with the CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats saw him fired after posting a disappointing 5-23 mark. Taaffle was considered a candidate in Army's last coaching search but was passed over, in part, due to some well publicized drunk driving arrests that cost him his job at The Citadel in 1996. At 63, Taaffe is the oldest candidate but is an innovative offensive coach who has proven success as a head coach. He could possibly be hurt for consideration by unfavorable comparisons to Bobby Ross who was hired at an advanced age in 2004 at the end of his coaching career to rebuild the program and struggled mightily.

Ed Warinner, Ohio State Co-Offensive coordinator
Ed Warinner is currently the co-offensive coordinator for Urban Meyer at Ohio State. Warinner's first two seasons at Ohio State the Buckeyes the team led the Big Ten in scoring at 41.9 points per game. The Buckeyes scored the most points in school history with 602 in 2013. Warinner has coached at eight different schools: Akron, Michigan State, Army, Air Force, Kansas, Illinois, Notre Dame and now Ohio State. He had great success as the offensive coordinator at Kansas from 2007-09. The Jayhawks posted the three best offenses in those years and produced three of the top seven scoring seasons in school history. Warinner was a finalist for the American Football Coaches Association's National Assistant Coach of the Year award following the 2009 campaign. He served as Army's offensive line coach and later offensive coordinator during a 13-year run under Jim Young and Bob Sutton. Warinner's offensive line nicknamed the "Fat Men" were made famous in John Feinstein's book the Civil War and helped lead the nation in rushing three times. Wariner has found success as a coordinator and offensive line coach at top programs since he was fired along with the rest of Bob Sutton's staff after the end of the 1999 season. Ed has extensive Army ties, service academy experience but has never been a head coach.

Ben Kotwica, New York Jets Special Teams Coach
Kowitca was promoted to the New York Jets special teams coach this year. Kotwica was the defensive coordinator at the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, following a tour in Iraq, in 2005 and 2006. His former Army coach, Bob Sutton, then the Jets defensive coordinator, hired him in 2007 to join him in the NFL. He served the New York Jets as a quality control coach, assistant special teams coach before being promoted to special teams coach. Kotwica is a decorated combat veteran who's been awarded a Bronze Star. The West Point graduate was a three-year starter at linebacker and captain of the winningest team in Army history. Kotwica was an intense, productive linebacker who led the Black Knights to a 10-2 record and the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy in 1996. He was 4-0 in his career against Navy as a player. Kotwica has never coached or recruited on a college level. He is the youngest and least experienced of the potential candidates.

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