Top Service Academy Coaches

Athlon Sports named Navy's Paul Johnson the most underrated football in the country last week. It's a nice honor, but not only is Johnson underrated, he's one of the best. And since we're talking about the best, why not list the four best football coaches in service academy history. And the four worst coaches. Take a look.

Four Best

1. Earl "Red" Blaik: Surprise, surprise. There probably won't be a better coach in service academy history.

Blaik went 121-32-10 in 18 seasons at Army, coaching the likes of Pete Dawkins, Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard. Under Blaik, the Black Knights won 32 straight games from 1944-47. Army won national titles in 1944 and '45, finishing second to Notre Dame in '46 after a scoreless tie with the Fighting Irish.

2. Fisher DeBerry: He wasn't big on political correctness, but he knew how to win, and run a mean option.

DeBerry stepped down in December as Air Force's winningest football coach in history. He went 169-107-1 in 22 seasons and 17 times DeBerry led the Falcons to winning record.

DeBerry led Air Force to 12 bowl games, though his last few teams struggled. Still, he led Air Force teams to eight-seasons 11 times.

3. Paul Johnson: He's established himself as the dean of service academy coaching, leading Navy to a rebirth. If Johnson sticks around, he will leap frog DeBerry, who only beat Johnson once in five tries.

After a 2-10 mark in his first year, the Navy football program has achieved what many thought was no longer possible at an Academy, going 35-15 over the last four years. Navy has reached a school-record four-straight bowl games and won a school-record four-consecutive Commander-In-Chief's Trophies. The 35 wins are the second most in program history over a four-year time span.Johnson has dominated the other two Service Academies like no other coach in the school's history, posting a 9-1 (.900) overall record, including a perfect 5-0 mark against rival Army. Last year's senior class was the first in school history to post a perfect 8-0 mark against Army and Air Force.

4. Jim Young: Orchestrated the last great run over a bunch of seasons by Army. Went 51-39-1 in eight years (1983-90) and led the Black Knights to wins in the Cherry Bowl (1984) and Peach Bowl (1985). Army also played in the Sun Bowl under Young in 1990.

Four worst

1. Todd Berry: Sure, let's try to run a wide open offense at a service academy. Because we know Army can get the recruits that can run it. Guys that will turn down top 25 schools for Beast Barracks.

Yeah, right.

Berry was a failure, going 5-35, before being canned midway through the 2003 season at 0-6. He is the architect of that forgettable 0-13 season, the worst in NCAA history.

2. George Chaump: Was it Chaump or Chump? After going 5-6 in his first year (1990), he pulled a Berry, putting up consecutive 1-10 marks. He was gone two years later.

3. Charlie Weatherbie: Is Navy still paying Weatherbie for that 50-year extension or whatever it was?

Weatherbie was an interesting story as he went from hero to zero quickly. He was the toast of service academy football after leading Navy to a 9-3 record in 1996, following up that with a 7-4 mark in '97.

Then the wheels fell of. Weatherbie went 3-8 in '98 and lost 26 of his last 35 games, losing his job in 2001.

4. Bobby Ross: We are probably being too harsh here, but has a coach come to a service academy with better credentials than Ross in a long time. He led Georgia Tech to a national championship and helped the San Diego Chargers to the Super Bowl.

Ross went 9-25 in three years, hired who could have been the worst offensive coordinator in the country (his son Kevin) and the timing of his departure was terrible, leaving Army in a bad spot to hire a replacement.


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