Navy football officially announces hiring of Grant Chesnut as offensive coordinator, other staff moves
The Capital January 5, 2023
(Tribune News Service) — Navy football officially announced the hiring of Grant Chesnut as offensive coordinator Wednesday.
The program also announced in a release that three offensive assistants — Ivin Jasper, Ashley Ingram and Mick Yokitis — would be retained.
All moves were reported by The Capital on Monday.
Newly-promoted head coach Brian Newberry said he spoke with several potential candidates for the offensive coordinator job and "kept coming back to Coach Chesnut." Newberry worked alongside Chesnut for four years at Kennesaw State.
"[Chesnut] is an outstanding coach and person and has all the qualities I was looking for," Newberry said in a statement. "He will bring an edge and a toughness, as well as the creativity to adapt and evolve our offense."
Chesnut recently completed his eighth season at Kennesaw State as offensive coordinator under coach Brian Bohannon. He is an offshoot of the Paul Johnson coaching tree, having played for the triple-option guru at Georgia Southern.
Chesnut called it an honor and a privilege to coach at the Naval Academy and "work with the best young men and women the country has to offer." He described Newberry as a "gifted leader" and was impressed with his vision for Navy football.
"I will work tirelessly to serve the young men in our program and help them maximize their talents on and off the field," Chesnut said. "We will make the Navy football family and all associated with the Naval Academy proud."
Ingram has been promoted from running game coordinator to assistant head coach and will continue to coach the offensive line. Chesnut will also coach the offensive line, which he did throughout his tenure at Kennesaw State.
Ingram just completed his 15th season with the program and is widely considered the best recruiter on the staff. He has been specifically coaching centers and guards for the past five years.
Jasper will continue to coach the quarterbacks, but will now also coach the fullbacks. Jason MacDonald, who coached the fullbacks the past four years, has been shifted into a role with the recruiting department.
Yokitis will return for a 13th year as wide receivers coach. He is a 2006 Naval Academy graduate and three-year letterman as a wide receiver for the football team.
Also, Marcus Thomas will become an offensive assistant after serving as director of player personnel last year. He is another former Navy football player, a slotback who is the program's all-time leader in kickoff return yardage with 2,338. The 2014 academy graduate got into coaching as an offensive assistant at UCLA after serving five years in the Marine Corps.
Newberry still must hire assistants to coach the slotbacks and tight ends. Only three offensive assistants from Niumatalolo's staff — tackles coach Danny O'Rourke, slotbacks coach Joe DuPaix and tight ends coach Chuck Petersen — were not retained in some capacity.
The Capital has learned that former Navy assistant Mike Judge is a leading candidate for one of the open positions. Judge served as fullbacks coach at Navy for 11 years under former head coach Ken Niumatalolo, resigning following the 2018 season to take a position with the Miami Dolphins. He has been with the NFL organization ever since.
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