Craig Candeto, a former standout Navy quarterback under Paul Johnson and Navy lieutenant fighter pilot, is in his second season at The Citadel coaching the quarterbacks and B-backs (fullbacks).
Candeto came to The Citadel from Georgia Tech where he coached the B-backs in 2010. He spent the 2009 season as a graduate assistant at Austin Peay working with quarterbacks.
Prior to embarking on his coaching career, Candeto spent five years as a fighter pilot as a member of Strike Fighter Squadron 106 “Gladiators” stationed in Virginia Beach, Va., flying T-34, T-45 and F/A-18 jets. The former lieutenant retired from the Navy in 2009 after piloting a $57 million Super Hornet aircraft.
Candeto was a standout quarterback under Johnson at Navy. In 2002 he rushed for six touchdowns in Navy’s 58-12 win against Army, tying the NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. In total, he accounted for seven TDs in the game.
In his second year as the starter in 2003 he accomplished the rare feat of rushing and passing for more than 1,000 yards in a season and earned the Rubino Memorial Silver Helmet Award as the Outstanding Football Player at Navy for the second straight season. As co-captain that year, he quarterbacked a Navy team that won three games the previous three seasons and guided it to an 8-5 record, the top spot in the nation in rushing offense and its first bowl appearance in seven years.
He was the recipient of the Joe Bellino Award presented to the team’s top rusher as well as the Military Quarterback of the Year. Candeto is a member of the Navy Athletic Hall of Fame.
Candeto was a four-year starter in leftfield for the Navy baseball team and was a first team All-Patriot League outfielder in 2003 along with being named the Thompson Trophy Cup recipient for the Midshipman who did the most during the year to promote athletics at the Naval Academy.
A two-sport prep star, Candeto
earned 1999 6A Florida State High School Player of the
Year honors in football and was also first team all-state in
Candeto gained experience coaching while in the Navy. In 2004 and 2005 he was an assistant baseball coach at Navy and in the summer of 2007 he served as volunteer assistant football coach at Northeast Lauderdale High School in Meridian, Miss.
A 2004 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Candeto earned his bachelor of science degree in economics. He is married to the former Maribeth Robinson.