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Navy Football’s Accolades Are Impressive

Navy football ended up with high marks for the season.

NCAA Football: Armed Forces Bowl-Louisiana Tech vs Navy Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

This season, the Navy Midshipmen went 9-5 on the season. Despite losing three games to finish the season, the Mids shouldn’t hang their head low. At the end of the season, they finished with the following accolades:

  • Their nine wins in 2016 matched the fifth most wins in school history. Only 16 times has that been done in Navy football history. The program is 136 years old.
  • They were crowned the champions of the West Division of the American Athletic Conference (lost to Temple).
  • Navy’s senior class finished with a .698 winning percentage, finishing with a 37-16 record. 37 wins are the most by a senior class in school history.
  • Senior quarterback Will Worth was awarded the Thompson Trophy Cup. It is awarded to the midshipman (man or woman) who has done the most to promote athletics at the Naval Academy.
  • Worth also won the American Sports Network FBS Player of the Year and ECAC Player of the Year awards respectively.
  • Freshman safety Alohi Gilman (now transferred to Notre Dame) won the ECAC Rookie of the Year award.
  • Head coach Ken Niumatalolo won the AAC Coach of the Year award.

Worth broke his foot during the AAC Championship Game, but before that, he had an incredible senior season. In Navy’s flexbone offense, Worth rushed for 1,198 yards on 264 attempts, scoring 25 touchdowns. This was just one season after record-setting quarterback and current Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Keenan Reynolds graduated.

Gilman had a very strong freshman season with the Midshipman. He had 76 total tackles (50 solo, 26 assists and five for a loss), a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. His transfer will hurt Navy in the defensive backfield, but it is still worth noting that he was sensational in his first collegiate season at the Naval Academy.

As for Niumatalolo, this is just another chapter in his story of success as Navy’s head coach. In 11 seasons, Niumatalolo holds an 86-47 record (.647%) and four bowl wins. He’s also done this at a service academy where the main goal is to train midshipmen to become officers in the Navy, not to play football.

Each one of these awards have been fought for and earned by each person within Navy’s football program. The amount of discipline that is needed to be a midshipman is already incredibly tough. Navy football has shown both on and off of the field what it means to be a midshipman.