The Naval Academy Director of Athletics, Chet Gladchuk, dropped some exciting news on Wednesday. Two football legends, Roger Staubach and Paul Johnson, will be honored at the Air Force football game on Saturday, Oct. 21. It’s going to be a “Day of Legends” that you won’t want to miss.
The spotlight will also shine on the epic 1963 Navy football team, which rocked a 9-2 record, took down Notre Dame and Army, and even reached #2 in the Associated Press poll before a tough loss to Texas in the Cotton Bowl.
“What a wonderful day for the Navy community as we welcome home two of our most distinguished former football heroes,” said Gladchuk. “Recognizing Roger Staubach and Paul Johnson during the Air Force game will be another milestone for the program and a moment in history that will long be remembered. Memorializing Roger’s number 12 on the field in perpetuity complements our beloved Joe Bellino’s number being displayed on the 27-yard line. In addition, the halftime ceremony to recognize the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame induction of Coach Johnson will further enhance our pride and appreciation for the amazing success we enjoyed throughout his distinguished era at Navy. Both men remain legendary, and are two of our greatest in the annals of Navy Football.”
Staubach’s legendary #12 will join Joe Bellino’s #27 on the field. They’re the only two Navy players who’ve won the Heisman Trophy, and they’ve earned their spots in football history.
You might have heard of “Roger the Dodger.” Staubach has shown off his football skills on multiple stages, from his college days to becoming an All-Pro NFL quarterback and a successful businessman. In 1963, he snagged the Heisman Trophy and led Navy to #2 in the country. The Cotton Bowl was his playground, where he set records for passes and yards. He even beat some heavyweights like West Virginia, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Maryland.
Former Head Coach Paul Johnson is being honored for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023. This induction will happen at the National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5. Johnson is well-known for his innovative spread option offense, which took Navy and other programs to new heights.
In 2002, Johnson took the reins at Navy when things weren’t looking good, but he turned the ship around. He’s a master of the rushing offense, and he took Navy from rock bottom to bowl games in just two seasons. He even snagged the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year in 2004. His legacy at Navy includes owning the other service academies – a solid 11-1 record against Air Force and Army.
Before his head coaching days, Johnson had a successful run as an offensive coordinator at Navy, Hawaii, and Georgia Southern, and he even tried his hand as a defensive line coach. He’s been a driving force in college football, and it’s no wonder he’s entering the Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately, the noon game is sold out, but will be aired on CBS and Paramount +. Be sure to follow coverage of the game on Eye On Annapolis with out live blog and X (formerly Twitter) feed.