Team preview: Navy

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college football season, exclusively on Insider.

Originally Published: July 28, 2004
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Paul Johnson is as good an X and O man as advertised.

Johnson, a proven winner at I-AA powerhouse Georgia Southern before taking over at Navy in 2002, did one of the best coaching jobs in the country last season. Johnson took over a Navy program that had recorded a 1-20 record the previous two seasons (the worst two-year stretch in school history) and turned it into a bowl team in just his second season.

The Naval Academy rewarded Johnson by extending his contract through the 2009 season, but it might have a hard time keeping him if the Middies keep winning. The extension is well-deserved -- Johnson led Navy to just its third winning season in the last 20 years and its first Commander in Chief's Trophy (thanks to wins over Army and Air Force) since 1981.