Air Force Falcons Football
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Air Force Falcons Football
Air Force Falcons football
Air Force Falcons logo.svg
First season1955
Athletic directorCol. Jennifer Block (interim)
Head coachTroy Calhoun
12th season, 86-67 (.562)
Other staffMike Thiessen (OC)
Brian Knorr (DC)
StadiumFalcon Stadium
(Capacity: 46,692)
Field surfaceTurf
LocationColorado Springs, Colorado
ConferenceMountain West
All-time record
Bowl record12–13–1 (.481)
Conference titles3
RivalriesArmy Black Knights
Navy Midshipmen
Colorado State Rams
Consensus All-Americans5
Current uniform
ColorsBlue and Silver[1]
Fight song"Falcon Fight Song"
(unofficial: "The U.S. Air Force")
MascotThe Bird
Marching bandUnited States Air Force Academy Drum & Bugle Corp "The Flight of Sound"

The Air Force Falcons football program represents the United States Air Force Academy in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) level. Air Force has been a member of the Mountain West Conference since its founding in 1999. The Falcons play their home games at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Troy Calhoun has been the team's head coach since 2007.

The three major service academies--Air Force, Army, and Navy--compete for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, which is awarded to the academy that defeats the others in football that year (or retained by the previous winner in the event of a three-way tie).


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]

The 1985 season

1985 was the most successful season in Air Force football history. Under second-year coach Fisher DeBerry, the Falcons came within one win of playing for the national championship. They recorded 10 straight wins to start the season, climbed the polls to #2 in the nation, but lost to BYU 28-21 in the penultimate game of the regular 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.

Conference affiliations

Air Force has been affiliated with the following conferences.

Bowl games

Air Force has played in 26 bowl games in their history, and they have a 12-13-1 (.481) record. Their highest finish in the AP polls was #5 in 1985.[3]

Date Team Bowl Opponent Result Coach Record
January 1, 1959 1958 Cotton Bowl TCU T 0-0 Ben Martin 9-0-2
December 28, 1963 1963 Gator Bowl North Carolina L 35-0 Ben Martin 7-4
January 1, 1971 1970 Sugar Bowl Tennessee L 34-13 Ben Martin 9-3
December 31, 1982 1982 Hall of Fame Classic Vanderbilt W 36-28 Ken Hatfield 8-5
December 10, 1983 1983 Independence Bowl Ole Miss W 9-3 Ken Hatfield 10-2
December 15, 1984 1984 Independence Bowl Virginia Tech W 23-7 Fisher DeBerry 8-4
December 31, 1985 1985 Bluebonnet Bowl Texas W 24-16 Fisher DeBerry 12-1
December 30, 1987 1987 Freedom Bowl Arizona State L 33-28 Fisher DeBerry 9-4
December 28, 1989 1989 Liberty Bowl Ole Miss L 42-29 Fisher DeBerry 8-4-1
December 27, 1990 1990 Liberty Bowl Ohio State W 23-11 Fisher DeBerry 7-5
December 29, 1991 1991 Liberty Bowl Mississippi State W 31-15 Fisher DeBerry 10-3
December 31, 1992 1992 Liberty Bowl Ole Miss L 13-0 Fisher DeBerry 7-5
December 27, 1995 1995 Copper Bowl Texas Tech L 55-41 Fisher DeBerry 8-5
December 20, 1997 1997 Las Vegas Bowl Oregon L 41-13 Fisher DeBerry 10-3
December 25, 1998 1998 Oahu Bowl Washington W 43-25 Fisher DeBerry 12-1
December 31, 2000 2000 Silicon Valley Football Classic Fresno State W 37-34 Fisher DeBerry 9-3
December 31, 2002 2002 San Francisco Bowl Virginia Tech L 20-13 Fisher DeBerry 8-5
December 31, 2007 2007 Armed Forces Bowl California L 42-36 Troy Calhoun 9-4
December 31, 2008 2008 Armed Forces Bowl Houston L 34-28 Troy Calhoun 8-5
December 31, 2009 2009 Armed Forces Bowl Houston W 47-20 Troy Calhoun 8-5
December 27, 2010 2010 Independence Bowl Georgia Tech W 14-7 Troy Calhoun 9-4
December 28, 2011 2011 Military Bowl Toledo L 42-41 Troy Calhoun 7-6
December 29, 2012 2012 Armed Forces Bowl Rice L 33-14 Troy Calhoun 6-7
December 20, 2014 2014 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Western Michigan W 38-24 Troy Calhoun 10-3
December 29, 2015 2015 Armed Forces Bowl California L 55-36 Troy Calhoun 8-6
December 30, 2016 2016 Arizona Bowl South Alabama W 45-21 Troy Calhoun 10-3


Presentation of the 2016 Commander in Chief's Trophy to the Air Force Falcons

Conference championships

Year Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1985+ Western Athletic Conference Fisher DeBerry 12-1 7-1
1995+ Western Athletic Conference Fisher DeBerry 8-5 6-2
1998 Western Athletic Conference Fisher DeBerry 12-1 7-1

+ Co-champions

Division championships

Year Conference Division Coach Record
1998 Western Athletic Conference Mountain Fisher DeBerry 12-1
2015 Mountain West Conference Mountain Troy Calhoun 8-6

Since 1980, the Falcons and Colorado State Rams have competed for the Ram-Falcon Trophy. Air Force currently holds a 21-14 advantage over Colorado State in games that the trophy has been contested in.

Head coaches

In over 60 years of play in college football, the Falcons have had seven head coaches.

Tenure Coach Record Pct.
1955 Robert V. Whitlow 4-4 .500
1956-1957 Buck Shaw 9-8-2 .526
1958-1977 Ben Martin 96-103-9 .483
1978 Bill Parcells 3-8 .273
1979-1983 Ken Hatfield 26-32-1 .449
1984-2006 Fisher DeBerry 169-107-1 .612
2007-present Troy Calhoun 82-60 .577

Falcon Stadium

Falcon home games are played in Falcon Stadium, which sits below the main campus at an elevation of 6,621 feet (2,018 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.[4]


Individual accomplishments

Notable individual records

  • 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.

Alumni in the National Football League


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)
1998 Chris Gizzi LB Associated Press (3rd), Football Writers (2nd)
1998 Tim Curry DB Sporting News (3rd)
Frank Mindrup OL American Football Foundation (3rd)
2001 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
2010 Reggie Rembert DB AFCA (1st),[5] Associated Press (3rd)

Academic All-Americans

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.

Academic All-Americans at Air Force.[when?][2]

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
Rashad Penton DB
1997 Rashad Penton DB
1998 Rashad Penton DB
2003 Ryan Carter DE
2004 Ryan Carter DE

Current coaching staff

  • Troy Calhoun - Head Coach
  • Steve Russ - Asst. Head Coach/Def. Coord./DBs
  • Mike Thiessen - Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • Clay Hendrix - Assoc. Head Coach/Off. Line
  • Matt McGettigan - Strength/Conditioning
  • Ron Vanderlinden - Inside Linebackers
  • Matt Weikert - Outside Linebackers
  • Jake Campbell - Assistant Backfield
  • Tim Cross - Defensive Line
  • Ben Miller - Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator
  • Steed Lobotzke - Tight Ends
  • Derek Lewis - Wide Receivers
  • John Rudzinski - Defensive Coordinator
  • Steve Senn - Director of Recruiting and Player Personnel
  • Capt. Ross Weaver - Asst. Off. Line
  • Chris Miller - Director of Football Video Operations
  • Janel Mitchell - Administrative Assistant
  • Scott Richardson - Equipment Supervisor/Head Football Equipment Manager


Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of July 15, 2015.[7]

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
at Colorado at Army vs Florida Atlantic vs Colorado vs Army at Army vs Army at Army vs Army
at Navy vs Navy vs Army at Army at Navy vs Navy at Navy vs Navy at Navy
vs Army at Purdue at Navy vs Navy
vs Colgate at Wake Forest


Air Force has a traditional rivalry against the other two FBS service academies, Army and Navy; the three play for the right to hold the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. Air Force has held the trophy 20 times, more than either Army or Navy. Among other schools, Air Force has played more games against Colorado State and Wyoming, having played each school 56 times since 1957, the Falcons' first season.

Top 10 rivals

Below are Air Force's record against its top ten most-played opponents since 1957.[8]

Opponent Games Wins Losses Ties Pct. Last Meeting
Colorado State 56 34 21 1 .616 Oct 28, 2017 (W 45-28)
Wyoming 57 28 26 3 .518 Nov 17, 2018 (L 27-35)
Army 53 36 16 1 .689 Nov 3, 2018 (L 14-17)
Navy 51 30 21 0 .588 Oct 6, 2018 (W 35-7)
New Mexico 36 22 14 0 .611 Nov 10, 2018 (W 42-24)
San Diego State 36 19 17 0 .528 Oct 12, 2018 (L 17-21)
BYU 30 7 23 0 .233 Sep 11, 2010 (W 35-14)
Notre Dame 30 6 24 0 .200 Oct 26, 2013 (L 10-45)
Utah 27 14 13 0 .519 Oct 30, 2010 (L 23-28)
UNLV 22 16 6 0 .727 Oct 19, 2018 (W 41-35)


  1. ^ "AF Branding & Trademark Licensing > About Us > The Air Force Symbol > Display Guidelines". Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ 2013 Air Force football media guide. Retrieved 2013-Sep-25.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Mayer, Larry (2013-05-12). "Tryout players followed unusual path to minicamp". Chicago Bears. Retrieved .
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Air Force Falcons Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Air Force Falcons Head-to-Head Results". Retrieved 2018.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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