Cover Story: The Evolution of Todd Monken
By: Ryan Mink
Todd Monken was 4 years old when he started watching football film.
His father, Bob, was the head coach at Lake Park High School in Illinois for 30 years. After Saturday night games, Todd rode with his dad the next morning to pick up the tape. Then they'd retire to the basement.
"He sat in my lap and watched it with me," Bob said. "He was connected to football from the time he was born."
Bob had four brothers. They were all high school football head coaches. Those five brothers had seven sons. Except Todd, they all coached or still coach high school football.
The lineage continues. Todd's son, Travis, is a senior at Oklahoma State and is entering his fourth season as a student football assistant. That's three generations and 13 football coaches in the Monken family. It's the family business.
There are five Monkens in the Illinois high school football coaches hall of fame, but Todd isn't one of them. He launched his career in college and has climbed the highest of anyone in his family. Thirty-four years and 13 moves later, Monken is in Baltimore – back in the NFL and in position to have his greatest success yet.
Since Monken was introduced as the Ravens' new offensive coordinator on Feb. 21, quarterback Lamar Jackson signed a long-term extension and Baltimore assembled its most talented wide receiver room in franchise history, signing superstar Odell Beckham Jr. and veteran Nelson Agholor, and drafting Zay Flowers in the first round. The Ravens still have one of the game's top tight ends, a strong returning offensive line, and a deep and dynamic running back corps.
The pieces are in place, and Monken is at the controls. If his offense is a hit, the Ravens have a legitimate chance to reach the Super Bowl that has eluded them over the first five years of the Jackson era. With Monken coming off back-to-back college football championships at Georgia, the hope is that he can also help deliver a trophy to Baltimore.
When Monken kicks off his first season as the Ravens' offensive play-caller Sunday, sitting in a booth high above the turf at M&T Bank Stadium so his emotions don't get the best of him, he'll sit on a mountain of experiences and influences that have led him to this opportunity.
Monken doesn't come from a coaching tree. He comes from a coaching forest, anchored by his family's football roots. And the 2023 version of Monken's offense will be unlike anything anyone has seen before.
"I'm very excited – very, very excited," tight end Mark Andrews said. "I have a lot of faith and trust in Coach Monken and the way that he sees the game. He's very good at what he does."