The United States Naval Academy football program suffered a few days of training drama following a 23-3 loss to the Air Force on Saturday.
The Navy fired longtime offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper, reinstated him in a reduced role and another assistant coach – Billy Ray Stutzmann – claimed he was fired for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Over the weekend, it was revealed that Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk fired Jasper after the poor performance against the Falcons on Saturday. Jasper, who had been the team’s offensive coordinator since 2008, was also the team’s quarterbacks coach, a position he had held since 2002.
Head coach Ken Niumatalolo met with Gladchuk and overturned the decision on Monday, saying Jasper would be kept in a reduced role of only quarterbacks coach, the role he held from 2002 to 2007. Niumatalolo plans to call them up. parts itself.
“Losing him was not the right answer,” Niumatalolo said at his press conference on Monday. “We’re better with him. He’s the best options coach around.”
Gladchuk reflected that sentiment, calling Jasper “an exceptional quarterback coach.”
The Navy has struggled offensively this season, continuing a 2020 trend in which the team averaged just 275 yards per game, among the worst in the FBS. This year, the team has only averaged 233, also near the bottom of the national standings.
The loss of the Air Force represented a low point for the Navy’s offense, as the Midshipmen amassed just 68 total yards, their lowest total since 1966.
Those struggles followed a stellar season in 2019, when the Navy ranked 12th nationally in points per game and dropped to 11-2 behind quarterback Malcolm Perry.
“It’s a ruthless fucking profession,” Niumatalolo said.
This was posted on social media again on Monday as another Navy aide, Stutzmann, revealed he was fired for failing to adhere to the Academy’s COVID-19 protocols, which now require the vaccination.
“After asking for a religious exemption and trying to negotiate more other working arrangements, I was finally relieved of my duties here in the Navy,” he said in his statement.
Stutzmann was in his third season as an offensive assistant. Niumatalolo said Stutzmann left the staff for “personal reasons”.
– Field level media