Eddie Robinson Coach of Year Finalist: Jeff Monken

On that day that Jeff Monken was named an Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalist for the second straight season, he was asked about the pressures of his position.

Monken has led Army to a 9-2 record, seven straight wins and the academy’s highest ranking (23) in the Associated Press poll since 1958.

“People are probably surprised that we feel as coaches that there isn’t a lot of external pressure,” Monken said. “The pressure all comes from within. I don’t think there is anybody that could put more pressure on me than me. The pressure that I put on myself to do my job is far greater than anybody else is going to put on me. I have high expectations for myself more than anybody else. People want me to win every single game or our offense, defense and special teams to be absolutely perfect. Well, not as perfect as I want them to be.”

“I’m sure coach (Urban) Meyer (at Ohio State) and everybody else that is getting talked about at this time of the year is feeling the same way. It’s not pressure.  It’s a tremendous sense of responsibility that we feel to our teams to the young men that we lead, to the programs and schools that we represent. That’s the drive and sometimes not the pressure by exhaustion of that responsibility and all that we put into mentally, emotionally and physically.”

Monken is one of eight Eddie Robinson finalists. The list is a who’s who in college football including the four coaches in the College Football Playoff: Alabama’s Nick Saban, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Kelly.

“If you think about it in the grand scheme of things, I’m compensated very well for my job,” Monken continued. “I’m very grateful. I have a job that I love. I’ve never wanted to do anything else but coach college football. I’m living my dream.

“There’s a lot of dads that can’t put food of the table for their children. That’s pressure. There’s people getting laid off that don’t have job, who don’t know how they are going to make their last house payment or get to their next job interview because they can’t put gas in the car, that’s pressure. People who have children that are sick or loved ones or spouses who are sick and they just hope they make it one more day alive so they can enjoy one more moment with their loved one, that’s pressure.”

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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