On May 19, 2005 Mike Toop, a 1977 Academy graduate was appointed the 14th head football coach in Mariners history. Coach Toop is now entering his ninth season at the helm of the Mariners.
Toop has coached at some of the nation’s finest academic institutions, and prior to joining USMMA, spent four seasons as the head coach at Davidson. He led the Wildcats’ transition into the FCS as a member of the Pioneer Football League. The Toop-led Wildcats went 7-3 in the 2002 campaign, as Davidson won seven-plus contests for just the seventh time in 100 years.
Prior to his stint at the helm of Davidson’s program, Toop was the defensive coordinator from 1999-2000 at the University of Connecticut. He was the primary recruiter for the Huskies in the states of New York, New Jersey and California. Toop also led the UConn defense in its inaugural season at the FBS level (2000).
Toop enjoyed a seven-year tenure as the defensive coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania. During that time, the Quakers won three Ivy League championships (1993-94, ‘98), and went undefeated on two occasions. In 1994, Toop’s defense finished the year ranked No. 1 nationally in Division I-AA in pass efficiency, total defense, and scoring defense. Penn set the Division I-AA record for consecutive wins, with 24, from 1992-95. Toop was named the National Division I-AA Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 1995 by American Football Quarterly Magazine.
Also included on Toop’s collegiate coaching resume are stops as an assistant football coach at Colgate (1987-91), Union (1985-86) and Albany (1983-84). The Union Dutchmen advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament both years with Toop serving as an assistant coach. Prior to that, those familiar with New York-area high school football may remember him from his time as an assistant coach at Holy Cross High School (Flushing) in 1982 and at Chaminade (Mineola) from 1977-81. He guided Holy Cross to the 1982 Catholic Football League City Championship, while Chaminade took home the CFL title in 1977 and 1978. During his time in the high school ranks, Toop fulfilled his Maritime commitment working on off-shore oil rigs and sailing with Master Mates & Pilots. He also fulfilled his Naval Reserve commitment.
Toop was a linebacker for USMMA from 1973-76 and earned four letters. The Mariners’ team captain in his senior campaign, he garnered the team’s Defensive Most Valuable Player Award, along with All-Conference, Honorable-Mention All-East and Honorable-Mention All-America accolades. He will be inducted into the Academy's Athletics Hall of Fame.
Born on Dec. 18, 1954, Toop graduated from USMMA in 1977 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nautical Science and earned a Master’s Degree in Social Studies Education from Albany in 1984. Toop and his wife, Diana, reside in Stony Brook, NY and have two children, Marcus, a Captain in the United States Marine Corps and Jaclyn, a graduate of Union College.