Craig Candeto has been named the head coach at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, after serving the past two seasons coaching the quarterbacks and B-Backs at The Citadel.
Candeto is the 11th head coach in Capital history, replacing Henry Stanford who stepped down in November. The Crusaders finished 2-8 a year ago and 2-7 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, a league that includes Division III national champion Mount Union.
In 2012, Candeto helped guide a Bulldog triple option rushing attack that ranked fourth in the nation with an average of 300.6 yards per game. That mark was accomplished largely on the legs of three Candeto pupils – B-Back Darien Robinson and quarterbacks Ben Dupree and Aaron Miller.
Robinson became the first Citadel runner to go over 1,000 yards in a season since Tory Cooper in 2007, finishing the year with 1,007 and moving within 21 of 2,000 in his career with another year remaining. Dupree ran for 839 yards and a team-high nine touchdowns while Miller added 262 on the ground and combined with Dupree to pass for 900 yards.
"I am very excited for Craig and the opportunity he has to be the head football coach at Capital University," said Citadel head coach Kevin Higgins. "Craig shared his desire to be a head coach with me the first time we met.
"I know he will do a great job in his new role. Although you hate to lose good people, it is nice to see assistants reach their desired goals."
Candeto came to The Citadel from Georgia Tech, where he coached the B-Backs in 2010. The previous season he was a graduate assistant working with the quarterbacks at Austin Peay.
Prior to embarking on his coaching career, the United States Naval Academy graduate spent five years as a fighter pilot and retired from the Navy in 2009 with the rank of lieutenant. He was a member of Strike Fighter Squadron 106, flying T-34, T-45 and F/A-18 jets.
Candeto was a standout quarterback playing for Paul Johnson at Navy, with whom he served as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech. In 2002 he tied the NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback when he scored six times in a 58-12 win over Army, and the following year he gained over 1,000 yards both rushing and passing.
As a senior co-captain in 2003, Candeto quarterbacked a Navy team that won three games the previous three seasons to a record of 8-5 and its first bowl appearance in seven years. He received the Thompson Trophy Cup as the Midshipman who did the most during the year to promote athletics at the Naval Academy and was later inducted into the Navy Athletic Hall of Fame.
Candeto received his bachelor of science degree in economics from Navy in 2004.