Monday, April 21, 2014

Millikin, the Next Cradle of Coaches?

Abe Lincoln at Millikin University

There is a statue of young Abe Lincoln that graces the front lawn of Millikin University.  Perhaps it suggests that great and noble people come from this little school in Decatur, Illinois. Two big college football hirings recently cast a spotlight on little-but-mighty Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. 

Chuck Martin at Miami University

Chuck Martin, Courtesy of Miami U.
Coaching veteran, Chuck Martin, left the powerful Fighting Irish program this winter under Brian Kelly to become head coach of Miami University of Ohio--the storied school that is known as the Cradle of Coaches.  Martin is considered one of the top recruiters in the country and served as offensive coordinator for Kelly in his last position in South Bend.  Kelly has been at the helm of a Renaissance in South Bend and Martin has been at his side.  Martin also worked with Kelly at Grand Valley State and when he took over the program, the Lakers won back-to-back national championships in 2005 and 2006 and he was named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National Coach of the Year following those seasons.

A 1990 graduate of Millikin University with a degree in accounting, Martin was an All-American safety who received academic honors as well.  He was inducted into the Millikin Hall of Fame in 2008. Martin earned his master's degree in physical education from Mankato State University in 1993.

Jeff Monken at US Military Academy at West Point

Coach Monken, West Point News Photo
Veteran college coach Jeff Monken was selected to head the Army program at West Point.  Monken spent the last four seasons as head coach at Georgia Southern where his team went  38-16.  Before taking on the head coaching job at Georgia Southern, Monken worked for Paul Johnson a  who uses a triple-option offense.  He studied under Johnson at Navy and Georgia Tech.

Working for one of the military academies requires special skills due to limited practice times and player roster limitations due the requirements of the academy.  Like other service academy coaches,  Monken will not only be expected to produce a quality program at West Point, but his program must held develop the character of young men who are held to the highest standards not only while in school, but after graduation in the service of their country. 

Monken played wide receiver and earned varsity letters in track and field while obtaining his bachelor’s degree from Millikin University in 1989. He was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.  He received his master’s degree from Hawaii in 1991.

Copyright 2014, Sporting Chance Press


Patrick McCaskey's new book, Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championship Games available at selected stores and from Sporting Chance Press.  Pillars explores the football lives of the 10 most successful NFL coaches in history.  A great readable intro into NFL history and much more...

Millikin photo by Norris.