Chet Moeller, one of Navy football’s all-time greats, will have his No. 48 jersey retired by the Naval Academy Athletic Association during the home game against Central Florida on Oct. 2, 2021.
Athletic director Chet Gladchuk announced Tuesday that Moeller would become the fifth Navy football player to have his number retired. He called Moeller one of Navy’s “all-time favorite sons.”
“Chet Moeller will be finally and duly recognized as one of our most accomplished, determined and tenacious defensive football players ever to proudly wear the Blue and Gold,” Gladchuk said. “His No. 48 will justifiably be hung from the rafters to forever remind our alumni and fans of the influence he had on our gridiron success and the game of college football at-large.”
Moeller, the 1975 East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) Player of the Year and First Team All-American, revolutionized the position of safety on his way to becoming one of the most decorated football players in Navy history.
A two-time All-East selection, Moeller is one of only six Midshipmen to be selected as a unanimous All-American. He served as co-captain his senior year and registered 275 tackles during his career. He recorded a school record 25 tackles for a loss as a junior.
“Those that watched Chet compete still recall a midshipman that could change the course of the game play after play through his unparalleled athletic ability and unwavering will to win,” Gladchuk said. “The time has come for Navy football to fully appreciate his storied career and stamp an indelible mark on a legacy that will never fade.”
Moeller, a 1976 graduate, was awarded the Naval Academy Athletic Association Sword that is presented to the midshipman of the graduating class declared by the NAAA Athletic Committee to have personally excelled in athletics during his years of varsity competition. Moeller was a star in the classroom as well, earning second team Academic All-America honors as a senior.
Moeller was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010, becoming the 22nd Navy player or coach to earn that honor. The Birmingham, Alabama, resident was selected to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial All-Stadium Team in 2009.
Moeller was a recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award in 2016, which recognizes outstanding defensive football players from the past 40 years.
“It is truly humbling and a great honor to have the No. 48 retired on my behalf,” Moeller said. “I am forever grateful for my coaches believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play the great game of football.”
Moeller thanked all the coaches who were instrumental in his success at Navy. He played for legendary head coach George Welsh and was also impacted by defensive coaches Rick Lantz and Lenny Fontes along with special teams coach Steve Belichick.
“Along with our coaches, my teammates fostered an environment that enabled me to succeed. Our senior class had a special and unique bond that remains to this day,” Moeller said. “We won because of our coaches and because we cared deeply for each other. We gave the extra effort for those who played next to us and for those who helped us prepare for each game.”
Moeller is the first defensive player to have his jersey retired by the NAAA. He joins quarterbacks Roger Staubach (No. 12) and Keenan Reynolds (No. 19) along with running backs Joe Bellino (No. 27) and Napoleon McCallum (No. 30) as Navy football legends so honored.