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Air Force Falcons
AirForceFalcons.png
First season 1955
Athletic director Dr. Hans J. Mueh
Head coach Troy Calhoun
3rd year, 17–9  (.654)
Home stadium Falcon Stadium
Stadium capacity 52,480
Stadium surface Turf
Location United States Air Force Academy
Conference Mountain West
All-time record 328–274–13 (.544)
Postseason bowl record 9–10–1 (.475)
Conference titles 3
Consensus All-Americans 5
Colors Blue and Silver            
Fight song "Falcon Fight Song"
(unofficial: "The U.S. Air Force")
Mascot The Bird
Marching band USAF Academy Band
Rivals Army Black Knights
Navy Midshipmen
Colorado State Rams
Website GoAirForceFalcons.com

The Air Force Falcons are the college football team from the United States Air Force Academy, located just outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The team is a mid-major program that competes in Football Bowl Subdivision of NCAA Division I and the Mountain West Conference.

Contents

Style

Given the physical restrictions that military service puts on cadets, Air Force football has traditionally been based more on speed, willpower and technical execution than on pure size and strength. The Falcons have traditionally run a triple option offense, and have routinely competed favorably against bigger and stronger national opponents. While the wishbone is almost always assumed synonymous with the triple option, Air Force only deployed the formation occasionally under Coaches DeBerry and Hatfield. One mainstay from both of these coaches was the option, and the consistent repetition to near perfection, as witnessed by the wins and the rushing statistics in the past 25 years, regularly placing Air Force in the top ten rushing teams in the nation.

Falcon Stadium

Falcon home games are played in Falcon Stadium, which sits below the main campus at an elevation of 6621 feet (2018 m) above sea level. Pre-game activities include flyovers by USAF aircraft, including the F-15 and B-2. The highest attendance at a home game was 56,409 spectators in 2002, when the Falcons battled the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.[1]

History

Running back Asher Clark and the Falcons take on the Houston Cougars during the 2009 Armed Forces Bowl

The Falcons are not only recognized by the lightning bolt on the side of their helmets, but their traditional option attack. Air Force is one of the premier rushing teams in the nation. Since Fisher DeBerry took over as Falcons head coach in 1984, they have ranked among the nation’s top 10 in rushing 19 times in 21 years. The Air Force football team has enjoyed success not only on the field but also in the classroom. In 49 years of Air Force football, there have been 39 Academic All-Americans.[2]

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The 1985 Season

1985 was the most successful season in Air Force football history. Under 2nd year coach Fisher DeBerry, the Fightin’ Falcons came within one win of playing for the national championship. They recorded 10 straight wins, climbed the polls to #2 in the nation, but lost to BYU by 7 points in the penultimate game of the season. Air Force rebounded with a bowl game win over Texas in the Bluebonnet Bowl and finished with a 12-1 record as the #5 ranked team in the nation.

Past Results

See also: Category:Air Force Falcons football bowl games and Category:Air Force Falcons football seasons
Year Overall Record Conference Record Bowl Game
1955* 4–4
1956 6–2–1
1957 3–6–1
1958 9–0–2 Cotton Bowl Classic vs. TCU, T, 0–0
1959 5–4–1
1960 4–6
1961 3–7
1962 5–5
1963 7–4 Gator Bowl vs. North Carolina, L, 0–35
1964 4–5–1
1965 3–6–1
1966 4–6
1967 2–6–2
1968 7–3
1969 6–4
1970 9–3 Sugar Bowl vs. Tennessee, L, 13–34
1971 6–4
1972 6–4
1973 6–4
1974 2–9
1975 2–8–1
1976 4–7–1
1977 2–8–1
1978 3–8
1979 2–9
1980 2–9–1 1–3 (WAC)
1981 4–7 2–3 (WAC)
1982 8–5 4–3 (WAC) Hall of Fame vs. Vanderbilt, W, 36–28
1983 10–2 5–2 (WAC) Independence vs. Mississippi, W, 9–3
1984 8–4 4–3 (WAC) Independence vs. Virginia Tech, W, 23–7
1985 12–1 7–1 (WAC) Bluebonnet vs. Texas, W. 24–16
1986 6–5 5–2 (WAC)
1987 9–4 6–2 (WAC) Freedom vs. Arizona State, L, 28–33
1988 5–7 3–5 (WAC)
1989 8–4–1 5–1–1 (WAC) Liberty vs. Mississippi, L, 29–42
1990 7–5 3–4 (WAC) Liberty vs. Ohio State, W, 23–11
1991 10–3 6–2 (WAC) Liberty vs. Mississippi State, W, 38–15
1992 7–5 4–4 (WAC) Liberty vs. Mississippi, L, 0–13
1993 4–8 1–7 (WAC)
1994 8–4 6–2 (WAC)
1995 8–5 6–2 (WAC) Copper vs. Texas Tech, L, 41–55
1996 6–5 5–3 (WAC)
1997 10–3 6–2 (WAC) Las Vegas vs. Oregon, L, 13–41
1998 12–1 7–1 (WAC) O’ahu vs. Washington, W, 45–25
1999 6–5 2–5 (MWC)
2000 9–3 5–2 (MWC) Silicon Valley vs. Fresno State, W, 37–34
2001 6–6 3–4 (MWC)
2002 8–5 4–3 (MWC) San Francisco vs. Virginia Tech, L, 13–20
2003 7–5 3–4 (MWC)
2004 5–6 3–4 (MWC)
2005 4–7 3–5 (MWC)
2006 4–8 3–4 (MWC)
2007 9–4 6–2 (MWC) Armed Forces vs. California, L, 36–42
2008 8–5 5–3 (MWC) Armed Forces vs. Houston, L, 28–34
2009 8–5 5–3 (MWC) Armed Forces vs. Houston, W, 47–20
Total 328–274–13 123–87–1 Bowls: 9–10–1
* Air Force did not play varsity football in 1955 and the games are not included in overall record[2]

[3]

Championships

  • WAC Champions: 1985 (tie), 1995 (tie), 1998
  • WAC Mountain Division Champions: 1998
  • Commander in Chief's Trophy Winners (AF-Army-Navy): 1982, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989-1992, 1994, 1995, 1997-2002

Since 1980, the Falcons and the Colorado State Rams have competed for the Ram-Falcon Trophy. Air Force currently holds a 16-13 advantage over Colorado State in games that the trophy has been contested in.

Head coaches

See also: Category:Air Force Falcons football coaches
Season(s) Head Coach Record (W-L-T)
1955 Colonel Robert V. Whitlow 4–4–0
1956–1957 L.T. “Buck” Shaw 9–8–2
1958–1977 Ben Martin 96–103–9
1978 Bill Parcells 3–8–0
1979–1983 Ken Hatfield 26–32–1
1984–2006 Fisher DeBerry 169–107–1
2007–present Troy Calhoun 25–14–0

Players

See also: Category:Air Force Falcons football players

Individual accomplishments

Notable individual records

  • Chance Harridge: In 2002, Harridge set the NCAA Division I record for most single-season rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, with 23. Tied by the University of Florida's Tim Tebow in 2007. Broken by Navy's Ricky Dobbs in 2009 with 27.
  • Beau Morgan: He became the first player in NCAA history to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards in a season twice. He broke the NCAA single season rushing record for a quarterback, along with being only the second player in NCAA history to run and pass for 3,000 yards in a career. [4]

Falcons in the NFL

[5]

The Bullard Award: Falcon Football’s Highest Honor

The Bullard Award is voted on by the team based on the criteria that typifies Brian Bullard – unselfishness, 110 percent effort, total team commitment and pride in his role on the team whether he’s a starter or not.[6]

Winners:

  • 1984 – Steve Kelly
  • 1985 – Pat Malackowski
  • 1986 – Pat Evans & Jason Webster
  • 1987 – Rip Burgwald
  • 1988 – Anthony Roberson
  • 1989 – Lance McDowell
  • 1990 – Bill Price
  • 1991 – Kette Dornbush
  • 1992 – Grant Johnson
  • 1993 – Will McCombs
  • 1994 – Steve Russ
  • 1995 – Brandon Wilkerson
  • 1996 – Lee Guthrie
  • 1997 – Chris Gizzi
  • 1998 – Mike Tyler
  • 1999 – Charlie Jackson
  • 2000 – Mike Gallagher, Matt Dayoc, Nate Beard
  • 2001 – Zach Johnson
  • 2002 – Tom Heir
  • 2003 – Joe Schieffer, Monty Coleman
  • 2004 – John Rudzinski
  • 2005 – Denny Poland
  • 2006 - Gilberto Perez
  • 2007 - Drew Fowler, Garrett Rybak
  • 2008 - Shea Smith

All-Americans

Year Player Position Award(s)
1956 Larry Thomson FB Little America (3rd)
1958 Brock Strom OL Consensus
Robert Brickey HB Helms
1963 Terry Isaacson QB Helms
Joe Rodwell C Helms
1966 Neal Starkey DB Playboy Magazine All-American
1967 Neal Starkey DB Associated Press (3rd)
1969 Ernie Jennings WR Central Press (2nd)
1970 Ernie Jennings WR Consensus
1971 Orderia Mitchell C Black Sports
Gene Ogilvie DE UPI (3rd)
1972 Orderia Mitchell C Associated Press (2nd), Gridiron (2nd)
Gene Ogilvie DE UPI (2nd)
1973 Steve Heil ROV Associated Press (3rd)
1974 Dave Lawson LB/K Football Writers
1975 Dave Lawson LB/K UPI (2nd), Football News (2nd)
1981 Johnny Jackson DB Associated Press (2nd)
1982 Dave Schreck OG Associated Press (2nd)
1983 John Kershner FB Football News (2nd)
Mike Kirby WR Sporting News (2nd)
1985 Mark Simon P Scripps Howard, Associated Press (2nd)
Scott Thomas DB Walter Camp, Kodak, Football Writes, Associated Press (2nd)
1986 Terry Maki LB Kodak, Football News (2nd), Associated Press (3rd)
Tom Rotello DB Football News (2nd)
1987 Chad Hennings DT Consensus, Walter Camp, Kodak, Football Writers, Associated Press, UPI, Scripps Howard, Sporting News, Football News, Outland Trophy winner
1989 Dee Dowis QB Heisman Trophy finalist
Ron Gray KR Associated Press (3rd)
1991 Jason Christ P Associated Press (2nd), Football News (3rd)
1992 Carlton McDonald DB Consensus, Walter Camp, Kodak, Football Writers, Associated Press, UPI, Scripps Howard, Sporting News
1993 Chris MacInnis P/K UPI, Associated Press (2nd)
1996 Beau Morgan QB Associated Press (3rd)
1997 Chris Gizzi LB Associated Press (3rd), Football Writers (2nd)
1998 Tim Curry DB Sporting News (3rd)
Frank Mindrup OL American Football Foundation (3rd)
2001 Anthony Schlegel ILB Sporting News (Freshmen 3rd team)
2002 Brett Huyser OL Sporting News (4th)
2007 Chad Hall WR Rivals (3rd), Sports Illustrated
Carson Bird CB Sports Illustrated
2008 Ryan Harrison K College Football News

Academic All-Americans

Year Player Position
1958 Brock Strom OT
1959 Rich Mayo QB
1960 Rich Mayo QB
Don Baucom HB
1967 Ken Zagzebski MG
Carl Janssen OE
1969 Ernie Jennings WR
1970 Ernie Jennings WR
Bob Parker QB
Phil Bauman LB
1971 Darryl Haas LB/P
Bob Homburg DE
John Griffith DT
1972 Gene Ogilvie DE
Bob Homburg DE
Mark Prill MG
1973 Joe Debes OT
1976 Steve Hoog WR
1977 Mack McCollum ROV
1978 Steve Hoog WR
Tom Foertsch LB
Tim Fyda DE
1981 Mike France LB
Kevin Ewing ROV
1982 Jeff Kubiak P
1983 Jeff Kubiak P
1987 Chad Hennings DT
Scott Salmon DB
James Hecker DB
1988 Scott Salmon DB
David Hlatky OL
James Hecker DB
1989 Chris Howard HB
1990 Chris Howard HB
J.T. Tokish LB
1992 Grant Johnson LB
1996 Dustin Tyner WR
2003 Ryan Carter DE
2004 Ryan Carter DE
2005

[7]

Air Force Academy Falcons free safety Bobby Giannini (#11) prepares to finish off Tennessee tailback Montario Hardesty, while Falcons defensive end Josh Clayton (#97) loosens Hardesty's grip on the football. The Falcons lost 31-30 in 2006.

Current coaching staff

  • AF Coach - Head Coach (Holds record for most Division I national titles with 36 *[source NCAA Football 10])
  • Matt Wallerstedt - Defensive Coordinator/Asst. Head Coach/ILBs
  • Ron Burton - NFL Liaison/Defensive Line
  • Clay Hendrix - Offensive Coordinator/Off. Line
  • Matt McGettigan - Strength/Conditioning
  • Blane Morgan - Co-Offensive Coordinator/QBs
  • Jemal Singleton - Running Game Coordinator/RBs
  • Mike Thiessen - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers
  • Charlton Warren - Co.-Def. Coor./Recruit. Coor./Secondary
  • Capt. Tony Jones Sampson - JV Assistant
  • Ben Miller - Tight Ends/Special Teams
  • Steve Senn - Executive Asst./Quality Control
  • Lt. Col. Darryl Strawberry - JV Head Coach
  • Matt Weikert - Outside Linebackers

[3]

Sources

  • 2005 Air Force Football Media Guide

External links


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