WEST POINT — Changes had to be expected.
This time last year, coaches in West Point were receiving opportunities to depart for greener pastures, a natural byproduct of overachieving. Once again, coaching positions are being filled and shifted around, but this time for the opposite reason.
Already in 2020, Army has named a new defensive coordinator, wide receivers coach and quarterbacks coach. While there haven’t been reports of Army coaches losing their jobs, it’s clear head coach Jeff Monken knew shake-ups were necessary if the Black Knights were to demand a different result next season.
Former Michigan defensive analyst Nate Woody, hired on Jan. 2 to serve as defensive coordinator, Western Michigan wide receivers coach Keith Gaither, announced to the same position at Army on Jan. 10, and Kennesaw State (Ga.) quarterbacks coach Cody Worley, named Monday to an identical role in West Point, have all been brought on board in less than three weeks’ time. Woody has the common thread with Monken of working under Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech. Gaither was the WRs coach at Army in 2015-16, right as Army was beginning to find its footing after years of irrelevancy. And Worley played football at Furman, the same school that athletic director Mike Buddie came from before accepting the job at West Point last year.
These three arrivals have come without news of coaches being fired in their stead. John Loose, Army’s defensive coordinator in 2019, was named the assistant head coach when Woody’s arrival was made public. Mitch Ware, the quarterbacks coach at Army for the past six seasons, announced his retirement. Ware, in a press release Monday, said his time at West Point was the “highlight of my coaching career.”