ANNAPOLIS, Md.- Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk announced Wednesday the Naval Academy has extended head football coach Paul Johnson's contract through 2009.
"Paul has delivered a level of professionalism, knowledge and focus to a program that truly needed a jump start. He has accepted the challenge and the entire Navy community is realizing the rewards," said Gladchuk. "It was very important to stabilize quality continuity for the program and we have assured that through Paul and his staff. We will only get better each year under his leadership and I expect Paul to become the next Dean of Service Academy Coaches as our coach at Navy."
"Paul's leadership is so important to the Academy and our Midshipmen," said Rear Adm. Rodney Rempt, Naval Academy Superintendent. "We are all very pleased that he will continue to guide our football program back to national prominence. Our success this season on the field has been so rewarding on many fronts and most especially has rekindled the spirit of the Brigade."
"I'm excited about the commitment the Naval Academy has made to the football program and our coaching staff," said Johnson. "This year has been one of my most enjoyable years in coaching as our players have given us a total commitment since day one and the support has been tremendous, especially the support from the Brigade of Midshipmen. I look forward to continuing the restoration of the proud tradition of Navy Football."
In just two short years, Johnson, who is a candidate for National Coach-Of-The-Year honors, has completely turned around the Navy program. The Mids were 11-45 over the past five years, the third-worst record in college football, and in the previous two years before Johnson came to Annapolis, the Mids were just 1-20, the worst two-year stretch in the 122-year history of Navy football.
Navy is 7-4 entering the Dec. 6 contest against Army at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field and has guaranteed itself a winning season for just the third time in 20 years and the ninth time in 40 years. A victory over West Point would give the Mids eight wins, which would be tied for the third-most wins in the last 40 years at the Naval Academy, and more importantly, give Navy the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy for the first time since 1981. Johnson's potent triple-option attack has the Midshipmen first in the nation in rushing, averaging a school-record 323.1 yards per contest. The Mids have also set school records this year for total offense (4,763 yards), rushing yards (3,554 yards), rushing yards per attempt (5.5 per carry), rushing touchdowns (38), total offense per game (433 yards per game), and yards per play (6.2 yards per play).
Other accomplishments for this year's Midshipmen include beating a
ranked opponent for the first time since 1985, winning four games at home after
winning just three home games the previous five years combined, the +5.5 game
improvement is currently the second-best turnaround in the country this year
and the Mids are just the second team in NCAA history to have four players on
the same team produce over 1,000-career yards rushing.