So maybe this isn’t exactly breaking news, but former Naval Academy quarterback Lamar Owens is part of Paul Johnson’s Georgia Tech coaching staff. I noticed this for the first time after Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt threw a costly fourth quarter interception in tonight’s Orange Bowl.
After the INT, somebody who looked an awful lot like Owens was consoling Nesbit on the sidelines. So I looked it up, and apparently Owens has been a graduate assistant for the Yellow Jackets for two years now, according to his bio on ramblinwreck.com. I had no idea.
Owens is best known for his high-profile rape court-martial in 2007. Owens was cleared of rape, but convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer (for having sex in Bancroft Hall) and disobeying a lawful order (for having contact with the accuser). Navy Secretary Donald Winter eventually expelled Owens from the academy without a degree and ordered that he repay $90,797.75 back to the school. Navy Times editors and some academy alumni had recommended leniency for Owens. Last year some supporters even asked President Barack Obama to pardon Owens.
Paul Johnson, who coached at Navy from 2002-2007, coached Owens during his time at the academy. Johnson brought a couple assistants from Navy with him to Georgia Tech, but Owens is the only player from Johnson’s time at Navy that is on the Georgia Tech staff. Of course, unlike most former Navy players, Owens did not have to serve (or get a chance to serve) a five-year commitment in the service, which is what many of Johnson’s former players are doing.
Nevertheless, I’m glad to see Owens is moving on with his life and that Johnson has given him a chance. Owens certainly has the credentials to teach a little something about the triple option: He was voted the MVP of the academy’s team in 2005, when he rushed for 880 yards and 11 touchdowns and threw for 1,299 yards and six touchdowns en route to a victory in the Poinsettia Bowl.