Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
Oklahoma State University
A former Knox College quarterback who still holds several records at the
position is taking his offensive expertise to the Big 12 Conference.
Todd Monken '89, who was inducted into the Knox-Lombard Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998 after a stellar career in both football and baseball at Knox, decided to leave his position with the National Football League's Jacksonville Jaguars and accept the job of offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Oklahoma State University.
How has Monken been able to make the ascent in coaching ranks to the NFL and Big 12 Conference? "Winning and coaching good players leads to good things," said Monken in a Galesburg Register-Mail interview. Monken contributed to highly regarded passing attacks at nearly all schools where he has been a coach, including Grand Valley State, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, and Louisiana Tech. In a previous coaching stint as Oklahoma State's pass game coordinator and wide receivers coach from 2002-2004, Monken's influence on the offense was big as the team averaged more than 32 points per game all three seasons.
Offensive prowess is in Monken's blood. The Wheaton, Illinois native was an All Midwest Conference First-Team South Division selection at quarterback his senior season at Knox in 1988 and was also named to the Pizza Hut Division III All-America Football Team that year. The 1988 squad, coached by Randy Oberembt, finished fourth in NCAA Division III in passing offense with an average of 275.3 yards per game.
Monken's sensational senior season included record-breaking numbers of 218 pass completions, 358 attempts, 2400 yards, 23 touchdowns and a 60.9 percent completion percentage. He led the nation in yards, completions, and attempts while finishing second in touchdown passes.
More than 20 years after Monken guided Knox on the gridiron, his name can be found attached to several all-time passing marks. Monken owns or shares nine Knox College records as a quarterback and is among the Top 10 leaders in six categories in Midwest Conference history.
"I enjoyed playing there, I really did," Monken shared with the Register-Mail, who lists as a highlight the people he grew to know at Knox, including Coach (Randy) Oberembt, Randy Kruger, John Rosene '68, Tim Heimann '70, and Harley Knosher.
"Coach Oberembt was more than a coach to me -- he opened up his home to me to come over and study a couple of times a week," said Monken. At that time, he says that thoughts of reaching the Big 12 and NFL were farfetched. But Monken has always played a high-risk game -- going for the big wins instead of the safe plays.
"Without risk, there's no reward. And the risk was worth it."