The Athlon Sports 2014 College Football magazine ranked Army’ hiring of Jeff Monken No. 9 of all offseason NCAA football changes.

“I’m glad to see he’s getting such high marks so early,” said retired Lt. Gen. Dave Palmer of Belton.

Palmer graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1956 and later served as its superintendant.

“I’ve never met Coach Monken personally,” Palmer said. “But what I’ve been hearing from people who are familiar with the way he conducted spring practices and the way he’s recruiting, he’s getting very positive marks. I’m glad the national publications are taking notice.”

Army was 3-9 in 2013. That poor record plus Army’s 34-7 loss to Navy led to the firing of Rich Ellerson.

Monken was hired after compiling a 38-16 overall record in four years at Georgia Southern.

“Monken is fitting in very, very well,” Palmer said. “He is a high-energy person and he has certainly made his presence felt. Now, the key will be if he can turn all of this into a successful program. We’re all hoping for a successful season.”

For some Army fans, beating Navy would constitute a “successful” season.

In their annual clash, Navy has defeated Army 12 straight times.

“It would really help our new coach a lot if he could beat Navy,” Palmer said. “It has been a long drought. It is a great rivalry and there is a lot of pride at stake. So now we need a win in that contest. Enough is enough.”

Contact Allan Mandell at or 254-501-7566​ and read his blog at

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