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Joe DuPaix returns to Ken Niumatalolo’s Navy coaching staff

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In filling a hole in his Navy coaching staff, Ken Niumatalolo has officially turned to a familiar.

Friday morning, the service academy announced the hiring Joe DuPaix as slotbacks coach.  Danny O’Rourke, who coached slotbacks for Niumatalolo last season, will now coach the Midshipmen’s offensive tackles.

DuPaix, who coached slotbacks at Navy from 2008-10, replaces Bryce McDonald, who his post as tackles coach to pursue another, unspecified opportunity.

“I am very excited to welcome back Joe DuPaix and his family,” said Niumatalolo in a statement. “He has a clear understanding of our culture and the Brotherhood. His experience as a head coach, his deep option background and his personal character will be a great addition to our program.”

“I am honored, humbled and excited for the opportunity to return and coach at the United States Naval Academy,” said DuPaix. “Working with Coach Niumatalolo and his staff will be a privilege for me and my family. The unique experience of working with some of our country’s finest student-athletes is something I am really looking forward to and I’m excited to go to work.”

The past two seasons, DuPaix was the head coach at Div. III Southern Virginia.  After his first stint at Navy, DuPaix was the running backs coach at BYU for two seasons.

The service academy also noted in its release that DuPaix and his wife, Monica, have eight children.  So there’s that.

American, ACC announce officiating alliance

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The ACC and the American have struck a deal for a football officiating alliance, the American announced Monday. The new program will see the two conferences cooperate on all things officiating, from training to scheduling to evaluation.

With the move, the ACC’s Dennis Hennigan will oversee the alliance, while the American’s Terry McAulay will step down as the league’s coordinator of football officiating and the American will hire a new supervisor of football officials.

“We are excited to partner with the ACC regarding the administration of our football officiating program,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “This alliance will provide both conferences with a deep roster of the best college football officials and will provide for greater efficiency and consistency in the training and evaluation of officials as well as enhanced opportunities for the recruitment of officials. We look forward to working with Dennis Hennigan, who was regarded as one of the top on-field officials in college football and has since become a leader on the administrative side. I also want to thank Commissioner John Swofford for his cooperation in reaching this mutually beneficial arrangement.”

The new alliance means ACC officials could oversee a Tulane-Tulsa game, while AAC officials would work a Clemson-Georgia Tech game. The ACC-AAC Alliance will go into effect for the 2018 season.

Former Navy LB Caleb King killed in fighter jet crash

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A routine U.S. Navy training flight that ended in tragedy had a college football connection.

Earlier this week, two Navy aviators were killed when a fighter jet crashed off the coast of Key West, Florida, this past Wednesday.  Those who lost their lives were, according to the Associated Press, Lt. Cmdr. James Brice Johnson and Lt. Caleb Nathaniel King, who served in the “Blacklions” of Strike Fighter Squadron Two One Three (VFA-213).  Johnson was the pilot of the aircraft.

“[T]he aircraft crashed on final approach to Boca Chica Field following a training mission,” wrote.  While details are scant at the moment, below is from that website’s report:

The crash happened around 4:30 p.m., Hecht said. Both pilots onboard the Super Hornet ejected, he said. Initially, Hecht said a search-and-rescue effort for the aircrew was still ongoing around 6 PM, but later he said the pilots were recovered within minutes and taken by ambulance to the medical center.

An eyewitness, Barbie Wilson, told the crash “looked like something out of a movie.”

Wilson, who lives on the back side of the air station, said she stopped to watch an F/A-18 flying overhead, as she often does, and was shocked to see what appeared to be a massive malfunction in midair.

“Literally, the wings went vertical, and there was a fireball, and it just literally dropped out of the sky,” Wilson said.

King (pictured, left) was a linebacker for the Midshipmen football team from 2009-11.  He played in 38 games during his time at the military academy.

“Our hearts and deepest condolences go out to the entire King family,” Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo said in a statement. “We lost a dear brother and warrior. The entire Navy Football Brotherhood mourns the passing of a great American. We love you Caleb!”

AAC 2018 season kicks off with Civil ConFLiCT

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Defending American Athletic Conference champion UCF will kick off their conference title defense on August 30 when they visit UConn in the conference and season opener for both teams. The Civil ConFLiCT is the first game on the 2018 conference schedule released by the AAC on Tuesday. The conference will play a series of Thursday night games on national TV and will hold the conference championship game on Saturday, December 1. Kickoff times and television schedules will be decided at a later time, for the most part.

The AAC will continue to play an eight-game conference schedule with each team playing five games against division opponents and three games against teams from the opposing division. The conference championship game will be played at the top division champion’s campus at the end of the season just as it has the previous three seasons. The annual Army-Navy Game, which of course involves AAC member Navy, will continue to be played the week following the AAC championship game (Dec. 8).

The AAC’s Thursday night schedule will begin on September 20 with Temple hosting Tulsa and will feature Houston vs. Tulsa on Oct. 4, UCF vs. Temple on Nov. 1, and Houston vs. Tulane on Nov. 15. The Thursday night games could be altered depending on the NFL’s pending Thursday night schedule (Temple can’t play at home if the Philadelphia Eagles are scheduled for a home game). The Thursday night games will be scheduled to air on ESPN, and the conference championship game will be aired on either ABC or ESPN (it has aired on ABC each of the past three seasons).

The AAC will also play games on Friday nights this season, including three on the day after Thanksgiving for the regular season finale; USF hosting UCF, Memphis hosting Houston, and Cincinnati hosting ECU. That could be a big day for the AAC with potential division championships on the line.

The AAC will have 19 nonconference games against power conference opponents, including eight against ACC teams, four against the Big Ten, and three against the Big 12.

You can check out the full AAC football schedule HERE.

Positive update on Navy OC’s son who underwent heart transplant

The Jasper family
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It doesn’t happen too often, but there’s some positive off-field news when it comes to the sport of college football.

Late Monday night, Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper and his wife, Donna, received word that a suitable heart for their son, Jarren Jasper, had been found.  The younger Jasper had originally undergone surgery this past August to fix an abnormally fast heart rate when complications arosetriggering the need for a new heart.

The transplant, which was performed at Children’s Hospital in Washington D.C., went well, although the family cautioned in statements that the next 24 hours were going to be crucial.  Just past that 24-hour mark, the service academy tweeted out an encouraging update on young Jasper’s progress.

The family, though, hasn’t forgotten that a miracle for which they’ve prayed for nearly seven months came amidst tragedy for another family.

“My heart goes out to the donor family,” Ivin Jasper said by way of the Washington Post. “Their loss made this joyous day possible. Words can’t begin to express how thankful the Jasper family is that they made the choice to give life.”