Navy DC Pehrson retires after 23 seasons at school

Navy Midshipmen head coach Ken Niumatalolo was in charge of the program for more than half of Dale Pehrson's 23 seasons.Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime Navy defensive coordinator Dale Pehrson announced his retirement Saturday.

Pehrson served on the Naval Academy’s coaching staff for 23 years, including four as defensive coordinator. He was the fifth-longest tenured coach for one FBS program, according to the school’s official website.

“No coach has had more impact on Navy football than Dale Pehrson,” said Midshipmen head coach Ken Niumatalolo in a statement. “In his 23 years here, he has coached thousands of young men, recruited hundreds, beaten Army 16 times, 15 Bowl games, won 10 CIC’s, beaten Notre Dame 4 times, and won 11 games in a single season — most in school history.

“As great of a coach as Dale is, he is even a better person. I wish Dale and Marty the best of luck as they enter the next chapter in their lives!”

Pehrson was part of a coaching staff that helped restore the luster to the football program. During the past 16 seasons, Navy posted a 130-77-0 record and made 14 bowl appearances. The Midshipmen also dominated the series against rival Army, winning 14 of the past 17 meetings.

Pehrson was the defensive coordinator of the 2015 squad that set a school record with 11 wins, capping the season with a 44-28 win over Pittsburgh in the Military Bowl. Navy won the American Athletic Conference West Division title in 2016.

Pehrson came to the Naval Academy from Southern Utah, where he was an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for five years.

The school said it will conduct a national search for Pehrson’s replacement.

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