In commemoration of the Academy's 60th anniversary, the following are taken from a list of significant events in the history of Air Force athletics. The information has been compiled by Steve Simon of the Academy's communications area.
1 January 1956 -- Buck Shaw is hired as the Academy's first football head coach. He coached at Air Force for two seasons.He also coached in the NFL. He was the San Francisco 49rers first head coach, and also coached the Philadelphia Eagles. The Director of Athletics, Colonel Robert V. Whitlow, coached the Air Force team during the inaugural 1955 season.
1 January 1959 -- The football team caps an undefeated season with a 0-0- tie against heavily favored Texas Christian University in the Cotton Bowl (when there were only four bowl games).
1 January 1971 -- The football team loses 34-13 to Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl, the Academy's third trip to a bowl game. The Air Force Academy Band was also featured at the game.
1 January 1978 -- Bill Parcells begins his tenure as Air Force Academy head football coach. He left after one season, and went on to win two Super Bowls in 19 years as a head coach in the NFL.
7 January 1956 -- The Academy fencing team is formed, under the direction of coach Caption Richard Bowman.
9 January 1986 -- Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry is named the major college football coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association.. He had led the team to a 12-1 record and a number fiveranking in the United Press post-season national poll, an Academy record high finish.
10 January 1968 -- The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) passes a rule authorizing freshmen to compete in all intercollegiate varsity sporting events with the exception of football and basketball. The Academy makes these changes to its programs.
13 January 1968 -- The Air Force basketball team plays Navy for the first time, beating the Midshipmen 98-88 in Annapolis.
17 January 2004 -- Jeff Heidmous, Class of '77, is inducted into the National Water Polo Hall of Fame in St. Louis. Heidmous played water polo at the Academy and is currently the head coach.
29 January 1971 -- Ernie Jennings, Class of '71, is chosen in the 10th round of the NFL draft by San Francisco 49ers. Jennings, a consensus All-American considered the best wide receiver in Academy history.
31 January 1993 -- Chad Hennings, Class of '88, wins the first of his three Super Bowl Championship rings with the Dallas Cowboys.