John Sturges – Football

John is a 1973 graduate of Beavercreek High School in Beavercreek, Ohio. While at Beavercreek, John
participated in football, baseball, and track. John was a running back and safety on Beavercreek’s team.
John’s father, a 1953 USNA graduate, suggested John consider going to the Naval Academy following his
high school graduation. John was lightly recruited by small colleges following his senior year of high
school football.

Sturges applied to USNA and was directed to the Naval Academy Prep School (NAPS) in Bainbridge,
Maryland to gain additional academic depth. While at NAPS from 1973-74, John played safety for the
NAPS football team, which was rated as one of the best junior college teams in the country.

Based on John’s strong play at NAPS, he was designated to join the Navy Varsity Football team when
they assembled for fall practice prior to the upcoming 1974 season. A walk-on, John started out third the
strong corner on the depth chart, but quickly moved up due to injuries to more experienced players.
John was the first freshman to start in a Navy Football Game since the 1960’s, following a 1972 NCAA
rule change again allowing freshmen participation. John was the starting strong side corner in the game
versus Penn State in State College, PA., when on a windy, rainy day, Navy beat Penn State 7-6 in what
was a great upset. John forced a fumble and recovered another. The 1974 team was 4-7, which included
a win over Army. John also had three interceptions that season.

Sturges started at corner for the 1975 Navy football team, whose defense was statistically ranked as the
number 3 defense in the country. This team included the exceptional Chet Moeller-one of the greatest
defensive players to ever play at Navy, as well as many other strong defensive stalwarts. Navy had a 7-4
record that year, and again a win over Army, plus a victory over the University of Pittsburgh and Tony

Sturges continued strong play throughout the 1976 season, being one of the more experienced players
on defense. The ’76 team ended with a 4-7 record, and a win over Army. As a First-Class Midshipman
during the 1977’s team 5-6 season, John tied for the NCAA lead in interceptions with eight, and was
named All East and Third Team All-American. He is a 4-year varsity letter winner (3 N-Stars), and the
USNA career and season interception record holder with 13 and 8, respectively. In 2009, Sturges was
one of eight former Navy defensive backs to be selected to the 50th Navy-Marine Corps Memorial AllStadium team. John was blessed to play with many spectacular players and lifelong friends during his
playing days at Navy and is proud to be part of the Navy Football Brotherhood.

Following graduation from USNA, John served almost 30 years as a Surface Warfare Officer, serving
predominantly in Cruisers, Destroyers, and associated staffs. During the 1989-1991 USNA academic
years, he was the 17th Company Officer and Performance Officer. He is a former Commanding Officer of
USS RENTZ (FFG-46) and served as Commander, Naval Coastal Warfare Group ONE. John retired as a
Captain from the Navy in 2007. He is married to the former Jean Ann DeGree, and they have two married
sons and four grandchildren