Fisher DeBerry, the longest-serving and winningest coach in Air Force history
Fisher DeBerry, the longest-serving and winningest coach in Air Force history

The Air Force Falcons football team represents the United States Air Force Academy in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference (MW), competing as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The program began in 1955 as an independent; Air Force joined the Western Athletic Conference in 1980 and later moved to the Mountain West. During this sixty-two year period, the Falcons have had seven head coaches.[1] Troy Calhoun has been the head coach of the program since December 2006, following Fisher DeBerry's retirement.[2]

The falcon was adopted as the team's nickname by the academy's inaugural 1955 freshman team, who felt the bird characterizes the role the school's airmen will play following graduation. A series of live falcons, nicknamed "Mach 1", have served as the team mascot since that 1955 season.[3][4] The Falcons have played in 757 games over the programs 66-season history. During that time, four of the programs coaches have led teams to a combined twenty-six bowl games. Additionally, two, DeBerry and Calhoun, have led the program to a divisional title and DeBerry guided the school to three conference championships. Both DeBerry and Buck Shaw, the former of whom spent his entire head coaching career at Air Force, have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.[1][5]

DeBerry holds most of Air Force's coaching records, including years coached (23), games coached (279), total wins (169), total losses (109), overall win percentage (0.608), conference wins (100), conference losses (73), conference win percentage (0.578), and postseason appearances (12). Bill Parcells has the fewest wins (3) and lowest win percentage (0.273). Robert V. Whitlow, the program's first coach, has the fewest games coached (8) and fewest losses (4). Ken Hatfield has the lowest win percentage among coaches with more than one season (0.449).[1]

Key

Key to symbols in coaches list
General Overall Conference Postseason[A 1]
No. Order of coaches[A 2] GC Games coached CW Conference wins PW Postseason wins
DC Division championships OW Overall wins CL Conference losses PL Postseason losses
CC Conference championships OL Overall losses CT Conference ties PT Postseason ties
NC National championships OT Overall ties[A 3] C% Conference winning percentage
dagger Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame O% Overall winning percentage[A 4]

Coaches

List of head football coaches showing season(s) coached, overall records, conference records[A 5], postseason records, championships and selected awards[A 6]
No. Name Season(s) GC OW OL OT O% CW CL CT C% PW PL PT DC CC NC Awards
1 Robert V. Whitlow 1955 8 4 4 0 0.500 0 0 0 0
2 Buck Shaw[12] 1956–57 19 9 8 2 0.526 0 0 0 0
3 Ben Martin 1958–77 208 96 103 9 0.483 0 2 1 0
4 Bill Parcells 1978 11 3 8 0 0.273 0 0 0 0
5 Ken Hatfield 1979–83 59 26 32 1 0.449 12 11 0 0.522 2 0 0 0 0 AFCA Coach of the Year (1983)[13]
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award (1983)[14]
6 Fisher DeBerry[15] 1984–2006 279 169 109 1 0.608 100 73 1 0.578 6 6 0 1 3 0 AFCA Coach of the Year (1985)[13]
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award (1985)[14]
Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award (1985)[16]
WAC Coach of the Year (1985, 1995, 1998)[17]
7 Troy Calhoun 2007–present 186 111 75 0.597 67 48 0.583 6 5 2 0 0 MWC Coach of the Year (2007)[17]

Notes

  1. ^ Although the first Rose Bowl Game was played in 1902, it has been continuously played since the 1916 game, and is recognized as the oldest bowl game by the NCAA. "—" indicates any season prior to 1916 when postseason games were not played.[6]
  2. ^ A running total of the number of head coaches, with coaches who served separate tenures being counted only once. Interim head coaches are represented with "Int" and are not counted in the running total. "—" indicates the team played but either without a coach or no coach is on record. "X" indicates an interim year without play.
  3. ^ Overtime rules in college football were introduced in 1996, making ties impossible in the period since.[7]
  4. ^ When computing the win–loss percentage, a tie counts as half a win and half a loss.[8]
  5. ^ The Falcons were members of the Western Athletic Conference from 1980 to 1998, prior to which they competed as an independent. Since 1999, Air Force has been a member of the Mountain West Conference.[5][9] The Falcons have been members of conference divisions at two points; between 1996 and 1998 in the Western Athletic Conference,[10] and since 2013 in the Mountain West Conference.[11]
  6. ^ Statistics correct as of the end of the 2021 college football season.

References

General

  • Air Force Academy Athletic Communications (2016). "Air Force Football: History" (PDF). Air Force Football 2016 Media Guide. United States Air Force Academy. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  • Staff (2014). "Air Force Coaching Records". Air Force History. College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  • "Air Force Falcons Football Record By Year | College Football at Sports-Reference.com". Sports Reference. December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.

Specific

  1. ^ a b c Air Force Coaching Records (2014).
  2. ^ "Falcons Hire Calhoun to Replace DeBerry". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. Associated Press. December 22, 2006. Football. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Staff (September 27, 2011). "Academy Falcons and Falconry". United States Air Force Academy. United States Air Force. Archived from the original on October 28, 2017. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Beech, Mark (2012). "Golden Days". When Saturday Mattered Most: The Last Golden Season of Army Football. New York City: St. Martin's Press. pp. 173–174. ISBN 978-1-250-01356-9.
  5. ^ a b Air Force Football: History, pp. 160-165.
  6. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (2011). Bowl/All-Star Game Records (PDF). Indianapolis, Indiana: NCAA. pp. 5–10. Archived from the original on August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
  7. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (August 25, 2006). "Overtime system still excites coaches". USA Today. McLean, Virginia. Archived from the original on November 24, 2009. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
  8. ^ Finder, Chuck (September 6, 1987). "Big plays help Paterno to 200th". The New York Times. New York City. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  9. ^ Staff (2018). "Air Force Falcons School History". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on March 10, 2018. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "In the 1990s, WAC produced a 16-team conference that didn't work". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Pittsburgh. McClatchy Newspapers. September 15, 2011. News. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  11. ^ Myerberg, Paul (January 22, 2013). "Mountain West splits 12 football schools into six-team divisions". USA Today. McLean, Virginia. Sports. Archived from the original on June 21, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  12. ^ Staff (2016). "Member Biography: Buck "The Silver Fox" Shaw". College Football Hall of Fame. National Football Foundation. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Staff (2015). "Past National Coach of the Year Winners". AFCA Coaching Awards. American Football Coaches Association. Football Bowl Subdivision. Archived from the original on August 20, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  14. ^ a b Staff (2015). "Previous Winners". The Dodd Trophy. Peach Bowl, Inc. 1980's. Archived from the original on September 9, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  15. ^ Staff (2016). "Member Biography: Fisher DeBerry". College Football Hall of Fame. National Football Foundation. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  16. ^ Staff (2016). "Coach of the Year". Awards. Walter Camp Football Foundation. Prior Award Winners. Archived from the original on October 21, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  17. ^ a b Air Force Football: History, p. 140.