|While Jim Monos was away, Lebanon Valley fell into disarray. But in his second time around, he took the team to the NCAA playoffs.
Lebanon Valley athletics
Lebanon Valley's Jim Monos announced this afternoon that he is retiring as LVC's head football coach at the end of January. Offensive coordinator and longtime assistant Joe Buehler will be promoted to head coach, effective Feb. 1, 2016.
The Dutchmen posted a record of 107-122-2 under his leadership.
"I'd like to extend a special thank you to director of athletics Rick Beard, Greg Krikorian, president Lewis Evitts Thayne, and the board of trustees for making this employment the best experience of my life," Monos said in a statement. "I love this school, the student body, and the employees that I have come to know. Lebanon Valley embodies all of the principles that I believe in and it has been my privilege to have worked here for 23 years. Thank you for the opportunity to serve this school and the student-athletes that brought so much joy to my life."
The 2013 Middle Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year, and the all-time winningest football coach in LVC history, Monos completed his 23rd season at the helm of the Dutchmen on Saturday, Nov. 14. He is the only coach in program history to have guided Lebanon Valley to four postseason appearances, including wins in the 2009 and 2011 ECAC Southwest Bowls, and a 2013 NCAA Tournament berth following a MAC championship-winning campaign.
"It has been a great honor and privilege to call Jim Monos my coach and colleague during his 23 years at LVC," said LVC athletic director Rick Beard. "Like the hundreds of players and thousands of lives he has positively impacted during his career, Coach Monos has had a profound impact on my life — I am a better person for it.
"This day makes me sad but also proud. Coach Monos has been part of the game for 44 years and always coached the right way. His contributions to Lebanon Valley College and the football program, both on and off the field, are vast and immeasurable. I look forward to working with Coach Monos, Coach Buehler, and the football coaching staff during this time of transition in order to build on the foundation that has been laid for this program."
Monos took over as Lebanon Valley's head coach in 1986 after a successful stint as offensive coordinator at Shippensburg, his alma mater. He was named the MAC Co-Coach of the year in 1989, and in 1991 and 1992, he led the Dutchmen to their first back-to-back winning seasons since the late 1970s.
He was named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Division II power Bloomsburg in 1997, and in his first season, coached the Harlon Hill Award winner, given to the Division II national player of the year. Monos helped guide the Huskies to the national championship game in 2000 and coached Jhari Evans, a 2006 NFL fourth-round draft pick and Super Bowl XLIV champion with the New Orleans Saints.
Monos returned to LVC in 2004, inheriting a program that won just three games in three seasons prior to his arrival. In 2009, he led the Dutchmen to a program-record nine wins. In the past decade, his teams have finished with a record of .500 or better nine times. He leaves Lebanon Valley with 109 career victories.
Monos broke the news about his retirement publicly for the first time when he addressed his current players at one of the team's year-end meetings.
"Rumor has it that I'm retiring as head football coach and it's true," said Monos to his players. "We've built a home in Rehoboth Beach and we'll be moving there in the future. Please know that I consider myself a very lucky man. I've been coaching for 44 years and it's been my privilege to have been the head coach at LVC for 23 of those years. Of all the places I've ever coached, LVC has my heart. I will continue to follow the success of the school and the football team."
As Monos told his players, he and his wife, Mary Ellen, will be relocating to Rehoboth Beach, Del., in the near future, and the couple are looking forward to experiencing life by the shore in a full-time capacity. Most important in making his decision at this moment, however, is that he exits the program he brought to prominence in his own way.
"I think of something I was told a while back," said Monos about the timing of his decision. "Very few people get to go out on their own terms and be involved in recommending their successor. Believe me, I can't wait to get here in the morning because I love what I do so much. This school, our student-athletes, they're such great kids and they want to win and they work so hard. But I've been coaching for 44 years – 44 straight years. That's a lot, and much as I love this place, it's time."