Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk announced in mid-December that Brian Newberry will be the 40th head football coach at the Naval Academy. Newberry has served as the defensive coordinator at Navy for the last four seasons.
“Coach Newberry is respected and was highly endorsed by many within the Navy football family,” said Gladchuk. “Brian is organized, innovative, intelligent, inspirational and brings an expectation of competitive toughness that has made Navy one of the top defensive units in the nation. The span of his experience at a number of institutions, coupled with four years in Annapolis has allowed him to create a vision for Navy football that is all encompassing and very logical as it pertains to the way ahead. Often there comes a time in the careers of highly-accomplished coaches in our profession when documented credibility aligns with logical leadership opportunity and Coach Newberry’s time is now.”
“I want to thank Chet Gladchuk and Admiral Sean Buck for this incredible opportunity and for their ongoing support and belief in me,” said Newberry. “I also want to thank Coach Niumatalolo for taking a chance on me four years ago.”
“It is a great honor and privilege to lead this program,” continued Newberry. “It is a great responsibility that I fully accept and embrace. I could not be more excited and optimistic about the future of Navy football. The Naval Academy is a special place and we have great young men in our program. Our culture remains strong. I believe whole heartedly in the mission here and have seen firsthand the impact this institution has on the lives of the young men and women who graduate and serve. We will facilitate the values and the mission of the Naval Academy within our program. We will make the Navy football family and all associated with the Naval Academy proud, both on and off the field! Go Navy! Beat everyone!”
Navy finished sixth in the nation against the run in 2022, which is even more impressive when you consider it was the only defense ranked in the top 25 that faced three of the top-10 rushing offenses in the country. Navy also finished eighth nationally in fewest first downs allowed, 20th in sacks, 22nd in fumbles recovered and 30th in total defense.
Senior striker John Marshall finished fourth in the nation in sacks and tackles for a loss per game while setting school records for sacks in a season and game. Marshall was the only unanimous First-Team All- American Athletic Conference selection in 2022.
In 2021, the Navy defense acquitted itself well by finishing 32nd in the nation in rushing defense, 34th in total defense and 34th in red zone defense. Linebacker Diego Fagot was distinguished with All-American honors, First-Team All-American Athletic Conference and was named All-East. Fagot was also named MVP of the East-West Shrine All-Star Game.
In 2020, after a slow start due to COVID, the defense finished the year with a flurry, holding Memphis, Tulsa and Army to under 300 yards of total offense. It was the first time a Navy defense had achieved that feat since 1997.
In 2019, Newberry’s first year on the job, Navy made massive improvements on the defensive side of the football.
Navy ranked 20th in third down defense (121st in 2018), 10th in rushing defense (90th in 2018), 39th in passing defense (75th in 2018), 16th in total defense (86th in 2018) and 34th in scoring defense (103rd in 2018).
Newberry, a semifinalist for the Broyles Award, presented annually to the best assistant coach in college football, and his defensive staff installed a “Get 6” culture within the Navy defense that took off. Newberry told the defensive players if they got a combination of six three-and-outs, fourth down stops, turnovers and defensive touchdowns in a game, the Mids would win. In 2019, Navy was 8-0 when it managed to “Get 6.”
The Mids finished 10th in the nation against the run despite facing the #2, #3 and #11 rushing offenses in the country. Navy forced the opposing offense off the field in three plays or less in 36 percent of its drives, which was the 10th-best average in the country. The Navy defense gave up just 15.2 first downs per game, which was tied for third best in the country.
Safeties Evan Fochtman and Kevin Brennan were named First-Team All-East.
Prior to his arrival in Annapolis, Newberry served as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Kennesaw State from 2015-18, leading the Owls to the FCS quarterfinals in each of his last two seasons.
Kennesaw State ranked first in the FCS in fewest first downs allowed per game and second in total defense in 2018. The Owls finished seventh in scoring defense, giving up an average of 15.4 points per game. The Owls also ranked 11th nationally in third down conversion defense.
In 2017, Kennesaw State ranked seventh nationally in scoring defense and third in turnovers gained. The Owls picked off 24 passes, which ranked second nationally, and led the Big South in rushing defense, pass defensive efficiency and red zone defense, while standing second in sacks (31).
The Kennesaw defense forced an incredible 56 turnovers over Newberry’s last two years, including 37 interceptions.
Newberry joined the Kennesaw State coaching staff after spending the 2012 season as defensive coordinator at Northern Michigan.
Prior to his one season at Northern Michigan, Newberry served as defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., in 2011 where the Tigers improved their scoring defense by 16 points per game and total defense by 85 yards a contest.
Newberry’s coaching experience also includes four seasons (2007-10) as defensive backs coach at Elon and five years (2004-06, 2001 and 2002) as defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach at Washington & Lee. He also served as a graduate assistant/defensive line coach at Rice during the spring of 2004, spent one season as an assistant defensive backs coach at Lehigh in 2003 and began his coaching career at Southern Arkansas where he was a graduate assistant coaching the defensive backs and wide receivers in 1999 and 2000.
In 2004, Newberry’s Washington & Lee defense produced a school-record 43 sacks and ranked among the Division III leaders in rushing defense. The Generals’ defense led the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in pass defense, rush defense and scoring defense in 2005 and in 2006, Washington & Lee forced 30 turnovers and ranked among the nation’s leaders in pass defense.
Newberry played collegiately at Baylor and graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in education. He helped lead the Bears to the Southwest Conference Co-Championship and an appearance in the 1994 Alamo Bowl, as well as a No. 5 national ranking in total defense in 1995.
Newberry and his wife, Kate, are the parents of a son, Max, and a daughter, Lyla.
COURTESY NAVY ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS