I had the opportunity to hear Coach Monken from West Point talk about at the American Football Coaches Association Convention this year (2018).  If you haven’t made it to an AFCA Convention, do your best to get there next year; it will be in San Antonio.

Coach Monken gave a talk about the success of their program this year (they were 10-3 this past season), and what it’s like to be the Head Football Coach at West Point.

One of the parts of the talk I really liked was his “7 Keys To Victory.”

1. Win the turnover margin

Had 5 fumbles, opponents had 9.

2.  Run the ball and stop the run

A few years ago when they were 2-10, they ran for just 179 yards a game. This year, at 10-3, they ran for 190 yards per game.  

They ran the ball so much that they were 3-1 in games when they did not throw ONE pass.

They held the ball for almost 10 minutes more than their opponent per game.

3.  Win the field position game via the kicking game

Their net punt was 39.26, opponent was 31.18.
Although they did lose on average punt return and kick return.

4.  Win on 3rd down

They were 55% on third down, compared to 40% for their opponent.

Army head coach Jeff Monken stands with his players to sing West Point’s alma mater following Army’s loss to Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md., on Saturday, December 13, 2014. Navy has won the last 13 of their match-ups. (Mike Morones/Army Times)

5.  Big plays in your favor; avoid all negative yardage plays

6.  Win on the goaline

Their offense was 86%; defense was 77%.

7.   Avoid foolish penalties and missed assignments

They had fewer penalties than their opponents this year.


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Chris Fore has his Masters degree in Athletic Administration, is a Certified Athletic Administrator and serves as an Adjunct Professor in the M.S. Physical Education –  Sports Management program at Azusa Pacific University. Coach Fore runs Eight Laces Consulting where he specializes in helping coaches nationwide in their job search process.  Fore was named to the Hudl Top 100 in 2017, and the Top 5 Best High School Football Coaches to follow on Twitter by MaxPreps in 2016.  Follow him!