Air Force Falcons football
2023 Air Force Falcons football team
First season1955
Athletic directorNathan Pine
Head coachTroy Calhoun
17th season, 129–82 (.611)
StadiumFalcon Stadium
(capacity: 46,692)
Field surfaceTurf
LocationColorado Springs, Colorado
ConferenceMountain West (1999–present)
DivisionMountain (2013–2019 and 2021–2022)
Past conferencesIndependent (1955)
University Division Independent (1956–1972)
Division I/I-A Independent (1973–1979)
WAC (1980–1998)
All-time record433–342–13 (.558)
Bowl record16–13–1 (.550)
Conference titles3
Division titles3
RivalriesArmy (rivalry)
Navy (rivalry)
Colorado State (rivalry)
Hawaii (Kuter Trophy)
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 year's 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

See also: List of Air Force Falcons football seasons

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

See also: 1985 Air Force Falcons football team

1985 was the most successful season in Air Force football history. Under 5th-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 No. 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 No. 5 ranked team in the nation.

Conference affiliations

Air Force has been affiliated with the following conferences.


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 8–5 6–2
1998 12–1 7–1

† Co-champions

Division championships

Year Division Coach Opponent CG result
1998 WAC - Mountain Fisher DeBerry BYU W 20–13
2015 MW - Mountain Troy Calhoun San Diego State L 24–27
2021 MW - Mountain N/A lost tie-breaker to Utah State

Conference Championship Game appearances

Air Force has appeared in 2 conference championship games in their history, winning 1 of them.

Year Conference Coach CG Opponent CG Result Game MVP
1998 WAC Fisher DeBerry BYU W 20–13 N/A
2015 Mountain West Troy Calhoun San Diego State L 24–27 Christian Chapman (QB, San Diego State)
Na'im McGee (S, San Diego State)

Note: Includes appearances where the conference did not use divisions to determine championship game participants.

Bowl games

See also: List of Air Force Falcons football seasons

Air Force has played in 30 bowl games in their history, with a 16–13–1 (.550) record.[3] Their highest finish in the polls was fifth (UPI coaches) in 1985.[4]

Season Bowl Opponent Result Head coach Record
1958 Cotton TCU T 0–0 Ben Martin 9–0–2
1963 Gator North Carolina L 0–35 Ben Martin 7–4
1970 Sugar Tennessee L 13–34 Ben Martin 9–3
1982 Hall of Fame Vanderbilt W 36–28 Ken Hatfield 8–5
1983 Independence Ole Miss W 9–3 Ken Hatfield 10–2
1984 Independence Virginia Tech W 23–7 Fisher DeBerry 8–4
1985 Bluebonnet Texas W 24–16 Fisher DeBerry 12–1
1987 Freedom Arizona State L 28–33 Fisher DeBerry 9–4
1989 Liberty Ole Miss L 29–42 Fisher DeBerry 8–4–1
1990 Liberty Ohio State W 23–11 Fisher DeBerry 7–5
1991 Liberty Mississippi State W 31–15 Fisher DeBerry 10–3
1992 Liberty Ole Miss L 0–13 Fisher DeBerry 7–5
1995 Copper Texas Tech L 41–55 Fisher DeBerry 8–5
1997 Las Vegas Oregon L 13–41 Fisher DeBerry 10–3
1998 Oahu Washington W 43–25 Fisher DeBerry 12–1
2000 Silicon Valley Fresno State W 37–34 Fisher DeBerry 9–3
2002 San Francisco Virginia Tech L 13–20 Fisher DeBerry 8–5
2007 Armed Forces California L 36–42 Troy Calhoun 9–4
2008 Armed Forces Houston L 28–34 Troy Calhoun 8–5
2009 Armed Forces Houston W 47–20 Troy Calhoun 8–5
2010 Independence Georgia Tech W 14–7 Troy Calhoun 9–4
2011 Military Toledo L 41–42 Troy Calhoun 7–6
2012 Armed Forces Rice L 14–33 Troy Calhoun 6–7
2014 Idaho Potato Western Michigan W 38–24 Troy Calhoun 10–3
2015 Armed Forces California L 36–55 Troy Calhoun 8–6
2016 Arizona South Alabama W 45–21 Troy Calhoun 10–3
2019 Cheez-It Washington State W 31–21 Troy Calhoun 11–2
2021 First Responder Louisville W 31–28 Troy Calhoun 10–3
2022 Armed Forces Baylor W 30–15 Troy Calhoun 10–3
2023 Armed Forces James Madison W 31–21 Troy Calhoun 9–4

Head coaches

Main article: List of Air Force Falcons head football coaches

Head coach Troy Calhoun (left) leads the Falcons, which he has since the 2007 season

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 129–82 .611

Top 25 finishes

The Air Force Falcons have finished in the AP poll and/or the Coaches poll 8 times in the program's history, with the highest-ranked finishes being No. 6 in 1958 and No. 8 in 1985.[5] Note: The AP poll began in 1936, and the Coaches' Poll began in 1950. Before 1990, only the top 20 teams were ranked in the AP poll before it was expanded to 25.

In addition to the major polls, the BCS produced rankings from 1998 to 2013 which helped select teams for the BCS Bowls. Then, starting in 2014, the CFP committee began issuing rankings to determine which teams were selected for the playoffs.

Season Overall record Major polls Others
AP poll Coaches poll BCS Standings
CFP poll
1958 9–0–1 6 8
1970 9–3 16 11
1983 10–2 13 15
1985 12–1 8 5
1991 10–3 25 24
1997 10–3 25
1998 12–1 13 10
2019 11–2 22 23

Falcon Stadium

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. Falcon Stadium is the 2nd highest stadium in the FBS division, with only Wyoming's stadium at a higher elevation. Pre-game activities include flyovers by USAF aircraft, including the F-15 and B-2. Opened in 1962, its highest attendance was 56,409 in 2002, when the Falcons hosted Notre Dame.[6]


See also: Category:Air Force Falcons football players

Individual accomplishments

See also: Air Force Falcons football statistical leaders

Notable individual records

Alumni in the National Football League

See also: List of Air Force Falcons in the NFL Draft


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 Consensus, 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 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
2010 Reggie Rembert DB AFCA (1st),[7] 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.[8]

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
2018 Garrett Kauppila DB

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of January 9, 2022.[9]

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033 2034 2035 2036 2037
Robert Morris at Baylor Bucknell Duquesne Baylor at UTSA at Arizona Navy Arizona UTSA Army Navy Army Navy Army
vs Sam Houston (in Houston, TX) Navy Sam Houston Navy at Navy Navy Army at Army Army Navy at Navy at Army at Navy at Army at Navy
at Navy at Army at Navy at Army Army at Army at Navy at Navy at Army
vs Army (in Denver, CO) Army


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

Commander-in-Chief's Trophy

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 won the trophy 21 times, more than either Army or Navy.

Colorado State

Air Force has played more games against Colorado State and Wyoming than any other school, having played each school 60 times since 1957, the Falcons' first season.

Since 1980, the Falcons and Colorado State Rams have competed for the Ram–Falcon Trophy. Air Force holds a 27–15 advantage over Colorado State in games that the trophy has been contested in.


In 2019 Air Force renewed a rivalry with Colorado, winning at Folsom Field on Sept. 14 by a score of 30–23.[10] The teams had not played since Oct. 5, 1974, a game that Colorado won by a score of 28–27.[11] Air Force won the first meeting between the teams in 1958. The 1963 game between the two college football teams was postponed due to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The 1973 game, the last one played in Boulder before the 2019 clash, was marred by a riot.[12] Fans threw eggs and beer at Air Force personnel and cadets.[13]

Top 10 rivals

Below are Air Force's records against its top ten most-played opponents since 1957.[14]

Opponent Games Wins Losses Ties Pct. Last meeting
Colorado State 60 38 21 1 .642 Nov 19, 2022 (W 24–12)
Wyoming 60 30 27 3 .525 Sep 16, 2022 (L 14–17)
Army 57 38 18 1 .675 Nov 5, 2022 (W 13–7)
Navy 55 33 22 0 .600 Oct 1, 2022 (W 13–10)
New Mexico 40 26 14 0 .650 Nov 12, 2022 (W 35–3)
San Diego State 38 20 18 0 .526 Nov 26, 2022 (W 13–3)
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 24 18 6 0 .750 Oct 15, 2022 (W 42–17)


  1. ^ "Air Force Athletics Style Sheet" (PDF). March 12, 2022. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2006-10-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Air Force Falcons Bowls". College Football at
  4. ^ 2013 Air Force football media guide. Archived 2013-09-27 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2013-Sep-25.
  5. ^ "Air Force Football record By Year". College Football at
  6. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2006-10-06.
  7. ^ Mayer, Larry (2013-05-12). "Tryout players followed unusual path to minicamp". Chicago Bears. Archived from the original on 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2006-10-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Air Force Falcons Football Future Schedules". Retrieved January 9, 2022.
  10. ^ "Remsberg scores in OT, Air Force beats Colorado 30-23". Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Why renewal of CU Buffs-Air Force football game "should've been done a long time ago"". 12 September 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Why renewal of CU Buffs-Air Force football game "should've been done a long time ago"". 13 September 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  13. ^ Howell, Brian (15 July 2015). "CU football: Buffs renew old rivalry with Air Force". Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  14. ^ "Air Force Falcons Head-to-Head Results". Retrieved 7 Oct 2021.