Air Force football coaching job one of three toughest in FBS

    The following story was done by SB Nation and discusses the difficulty in coaching at a service academy. SB Nation feels that the three service academy jobs are the most difficult in the FBS.

    Air Force, Army, Navy head coaches explain football's 3 hardest jobs

    By Kevin Trahan, May 21 2014, 9:00a 19

    America's service academies face tough recruiting restrictions and still find success on the football field. SB Nation talked to head coaches Ken Niumatalolo, Troy Calhoun, and Jeff Monken about adapting and contending anyway.

    In April, when the NCAA changed its policy to allow for unlimited meals, college coaches championed it as a success for student-athletes and as a potential benefit in recruiting. But for Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun, it was just another reminder of what he's up against.

    "That doesn't pertain to us," he said of the new rules.

    Calhoun isn't bitter about the rule change. He knows it benefits athletes at most schools and that it's necessary in a world more focused on player welfare. And he knew in 2007, when he took the Air Force Academy job, that he was signing up for one of the three toughest jobs in college football.

    At no other major football schools are recruits agreeing to active military service when they sign to play football. At the academies, physical training mandatory for a degree gets in the way of physical training for football. And that's for the players who meet the height and weight requirements for entry.

    With these restrictions, among many others, it's a shock that America's service academies can win any games in the top subdivision of Division I. Because to win games, you have to recruit good players. And finding good players with those restrictions is improbable, at best.

    How do service academies recruit?

    I posed that broad question to Calhoun, and his answer started out simply enough: "I don't think our process is different than anywhere else," he said.

    On the surface, that's true. Calhoun and the coaches at Army and Navy go out in search of the best football players in the country to come to their schools, just like the coaches at every other Division I program. But it comes with a caveat: "just, the filters that are involved are a lot stronger."

    Just a few of those filters:

    Academics. At Air Force, prospective players need to have at least a 3.5 high school GPA, a 25 on the ACT in all subjects, and a minimum of a 1200 two-part SAT score. Requirements are similarly rigorous at the other service academies. Lt. Col. Gaylord Greene, who works in admissions at Army, said coaches will often encourage recruits to take more core courses, since the school requires more of them for entry than most others do.

    Height and weight requirements. They differ slightly by academy, but at Air Force, a 6'4 applicant cannot weigh more than 221 pounds for admission -- and must also not weigh more than that upon graduation. This makes recruiting offensive linemen very difficult. "I'd love to have a bunch of 320-pound guys with good feet," Calhoun said. "We've never had a 285-pound kid, which is very small for a Division I offensive lineman. We usually average 255 pounds with our offensive line."

    Mandatory military service. Unlike players who sign a normal scholarship tender, athletes at the service academies sign on to serve in active military duty after college. As expected, that "is a turnoff for a lot of kids," according to new Army head coach Jeff Monken.

    Apply the academic filter, and suddenly the pool of prospects shrinks. The academies are forced to recruit similar kids as Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, and the Ivy League schools, yet none of those schools have to also worry about the additional filters of weight limits and mandatory military service.

    Opposing linemen regularly outweigh the academies' by 50 pounds or more. Scott Cunningham, Getty

    The result is a national recruiting plan.

    "I bet out of our two-deep, we might only have two that are even from this time zone," Calhoun said. "Which, that is really absurd."

    That sounds really nice: "we recruit nationally." After all, that's what powerhouses like Notre Dame pride themselves on. However, Notre Dame recruits nationally because its name has enough cachet to pull players from anywhere; the Irish don't have to just stick with the players in the Midwest. The academies recruit nationally out of necessity, because they could barely fill out a team if they recruited their geographic regions.

    Even with a national recruiting plan, the academies rarely beat out major-conference teams for players. And as Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo pointed out, even many lower-level FBS players think they can go to the NFL. Whether that's true or not, it cuts the service academies out of the picture for those players as well. So they tend to recruit against each other, FCS schools, and maybe a MAC school every once in awhile.

    Monken arrived at Army from FCS Georgia Southern this year, and even though he jumped up a division, it might be tougher to get players now.

    "I think the service academies are the most difficult places to recruit to in the nation," he said.


    ARMY HEAD COACH JEFF MONKEN The recruiting rankings back that up. According to 247 Sports, Air Force was the top-ranked service academy in 2014, finishing 109th nationally. Army and Navy were 121st and 129th, respectively, finishing among a group of FCS and low-level FBS schools. Only 10 of their collective 58 commits received three-star ratings. Star ratings matter for football success, so the coaches at service academies need to be creative in their recruiting approaches.

    Since there is so much information in recruiting these days, the academies can't really rely on fellow coaches to miss ready-made prospects. Instead, they take chances on players they hope to develop.

    Niumatalolo said his staff will look to identify undersized offensive linemen, corners with 4.6-second 40-yard dash times, and small defensive linemen who could turn into linebackers. It's an exhausting process, but if coaches look hard enough, they can find enough players who fit the very specific profiles. Once they find those players and get them to campus for official visits, Niumatalolo claims 90 percent of them end up committing.

    "Since we recruit all 50 states," he said, "I believe there are enough student-athletes out there that have good grades that are willing to serve their country after."

    Adapting to the recruiting filters

    The physical requirements at the service academies dictate their on-field style. All three are known for running option offenses. Navy, in particular, has become famous for perfecting the flexbone triple option. Former Navy coach Paul Johnson brought it to Georgia Tech with some success, with Monken a former assistant.

    Because the academies can't have big offensive lines, they rely on athletic linemen and option misdirection to create running lanes and open up the field. The Midshipmen won a game in 2011 without completing a pass, as did Monken's GSU against Florida in 2013. In the past six years, all three academies have ranked in the FBS top four in rushing attempts per game, along with Georgia Tech.






    AF honors fallen hero Capt David Lyon with ship renaming

     WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force decided May 23, to honor a fallen hero by naming the service's newest pre-positioning vessel after Capt. David I. Lyon.

    "It's a fitting tribute to have the Air Force's newest pre-positioning vessel named after an Air Force logistician and true American patriot who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of his country," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. "Captain Lyon answered the call by saying 'send me,' and exemplified the core value of service before self. I'm extremely proud that this great airman's story will become part of the legacy of this proud ship and its crew."

    Lyon, a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate and member of the 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron out of Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, died Dec. 27, 2013 in Kabul, Afghanistan, when a vehicle-born improvised explosive device was detonated near his convoy. Serving a year-long deployment to Afghanistan, Lyon was performing a combat advisory mission with Afghan National army commandos and working with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan.

    Lyon was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart and the Air Force Combat Action Medal.

    The dedication of the Motor Vessel David I. Lyon continues the long-standing tradition of the Navy's Military Sealift Command by having a ship dedicated to national heroes. Lyon is the fifth Airman to receive this honor.

    The MV David I. Lyon will provide responsive and agile combat support by prepositioning munitions afloat within theaters of operation in support of multiple combatant commander war-fighting and operational plan requirements. The MV David I. Lyon will provide enduring capacity for sea-based munitions movement equivalent to 78 fully loaded C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft.

    While Lyon was working in Afghanistan, his wife, Capt. Dana Lyon was serving at Bagram Airfield.

    When told about the decision to honor her husband with the ship renaming, she said she "was in awe and deeply honored."

    "It is quite an honor that the logistics community and the Air Force recognized the man I knew him to be ... humble and selfless," she said. "Dave's favorite thing about being in the Air Force was feeling like he was in the fight and making a difference in the world. He would be very much honored and happy about having this vessel named after him because it allows him to still deliver to the warfighter ... his legacy will live on and the mission will continue despite him being gone."

    (Content provided by Air Force Public Affairs)

    Air Force Academy human performance lab mentioned in NYT story

    Vision Training to Boost Sports Performance

    The baseball hurtles toward the batter, and he must decide from its rotation whether it's a fastball worth a swing or a slider about to drop out of the strike zone.

    Running full speed, the wide receiver tracks both the football flying through the air and the defensive back on his heels. Golfers must rapidly shift visual focus in order to drive the ball at their feet toward a green in the distance.

    Many athletes need excellent vision to perform well in their sports, and now many are adding something new to their practice regimens: vision training. The idea has been around for years, but only recently have studies hinted that it might really work -- that it might be possible to train yourself to see better without resorting to glasses or surgery.

    "Vision training has been out there for a long time," said Mark Blumenkranz, a professor of ophthalmology at Stanford University Medical School. "But it's being made more respectable lately thanks to the attention it's been getting from psychophysicists, vision scientists, neurologists and optometrists."

    Vision training actually has little to do with improving eyesight. The techniques, a form of perceptual learning, are intended to improve the ability to process what is seen. The idea is that if visual sensory neurons are repeatedly activated, they increase their ability to send electrical signals from one cell to another across connecting synapses.

    If neurons are not used, over time these transmissions are weakened. "With sensory neurons, just like muscles, it's use or lose it," said Dr. Bernhard Sabel, a neuroscientist at Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg, Germany, who studies plasticity in the brain. "This applies both to athletes and the partially blind."

    Vision training may involve simple strategies -- for instance, focusing sequentially on beads knotted at intervals on a length of string with one end held at the tip of the nose. This is said to improve convergence (inward turning of the eye to maintain binocular vision) and the ability to focus near and far.

    Companies like Dynavision and Vision Coach make light boards said to strengthen peripheral vision by engaging users in a sort of game of whack-a-mole; they smack at bulbs as they flash on and off, while keeping their gaze fixed straight ahead. Increasingly, though, vision training means playing something akin to a point-and-shoot video game in which the targets get progressively harder to discern.

    A study by a team of psychologists and published in February in Current Biology showed that baseball players at the University of California, Riverside, were able to improve by 30 percent their reading of eye charts -- as well as their batting averages -- after completing more than two dozen 25-minute vision training sessions using a computer program. Players who didn't receive the training did not show similar improvement.

    A study of the University of Cincinnati baseball team found marked improvement in the batting averages of players following six weeks of various kinds of vision training. The team batting average went up 34 points from the previous season, exceeding improvements of other N.C.A.A. teams. Errors decreased by 15 percent, while fielding assists increased 8 percent. (One author of the study was Johnny Bench, the Hall of Fame catcher.)

    In earlier studies, vision training has been found to boost the performance of table tennis players, golfers and field hockey players. But generally the sample sizes were small and variables difficult to control. (Athletes have been known to perform better just by not changing their underwear.)

    Still, they build on decades of work with stroke, brain injury and glaucoma patients whose vision has been significantly improved with training. Dr. Sabel's most recent research appeared in the February issue of JAMA Ophthalmology and showed that computer-based vision training improved glaucoma patients' peripheral vision by 19 percent.

    "Vision, like other sensory systems, can be improved with practice," Dr. Sabel said. "The improvements occur not in the optics of the eye, but in the central processing centers of the brain."

    Dr. Blumenkranz of Stanford and other vision experts suspect that to be successful, vision training must be tailored to the individual, like physical training.

    "A little discomfort is expected," as when you exert yourself lifting weights, said Al Wile, the director of sports vision at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and a longtime proponent of vision training.

    In addition to improving the performance of athletes, he said he had been able to help cadets pass pilot vision proficiency tests after they had failed.

    Professional teams, including the Indiana Pacers, the Brooklyn Nets, the St. Louis Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers, also are experimenting with vision training. Shawn Windle, the head strength coach for the N.B.A.'s Pacers, said he uses the Dynavision device to improve his players' visual abilities, as well as to assess the vision of prospective draft picks.

    "It's a great way for me to identify who can get their hands on the ball," he said.

    Players who are already on the team tell him it has made their vision sharper. "I don't have a way of measuring that," Mr. Windle said. "But if they think it's helping, that's good enough for me."


    Fencer Madeleine Girardot saves local girl's life

     The link to two feature stories done by KKTV's Sam Farnsworth follow below about sophomore fencer Madeline Girardot and her saving the life of a local fencer. 

    Here is the link to the quick segment done during the 5:30 news:

    And here is the link to the complete story done during the 10:00 pm show:

    Volleyball's 2014 Recruiting Class Earns High Honorable Mention

    For the second time in three years, an Air Force recruiting class was awarded High Honorable Mention status by, as the website recognized the Falcons' 2014 recruiting class on May 27., the only website that does a yearly ranking of the 329 NCAA Division I volleyball recruiting classes, ranks the Top 30, awards 17 additional schools with Highest Honorable Mention and another 30 with High Honorable Mention. Air Force's Class of 2018 arrives at the Academy for in-processing on June 26.

    Former Falcon Ben Garland changes lives

    The link below is to a column from Colorado Springs columnist Paul Klee and some life-changing things former Air Force football player Ben Garland is doing. Garland is a 2010 Academy graduate and is playing professionally with the Denver Broncos. Garland will be promoted to the rank of captain in the Air Force this month.

    Football players help in Waldo Canyon cleanup efforts

    The following link is a story the Colorado Springs Gazette did on football players helping with clean up and fire mitigation in Waldo Canyon. More than 50 were on hand to help in the efforts!



    Series on USAFA's 60th anniversary continues with May

    In the continuing series celebrating the Air Force Academy's 60th anniversary, a historical look at the month of May follows.




    1 May 2003 -- The Cadet Library is renamed theMcDermott Library, recognizing the accomplishments of Brigadier General Robert F. McDermott, Dean of the Faculty from 1956 until 1968.

    1 May 2003 -- The Academy Singers perform at General Chuck Yeager's eightieth birthday celebration at the Doubletree Hotel Legacy, Plano, Texas.

    1 May 2003 -- General Richard B. Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gives the 25th Eaker Lecture, "The New American Way of War."

    1 May 2006 -- Air Force Reserve Major Jim Fabio, Class of '94, wins a sports Emmy Award at a New York City ceremony.  He was a producer, editor, and cameraman for Lama Kunga, the story of a Tibetan leader who takes up golf, that won Outstanding Short Feature Story.

    1 May 2007 -- Academy housing is privatized, in the care of Forest City-Hunt LLC.

    1 May 2008 -- KAFA, the Academy radio station broadcasting at 97.7 FM, begins streaming on-line.  The Association of Graduates funds the streaming, which can be accessed through the AOG website,

    1 May 2009 -- Second Lieutenant Kenny Grosselin, Class of '08, receives the 2008 Cadet of the Year award at a Pentagon ceremony.  The Air Force-level award recognizes the most outstanding cadet in an Air Force commissioning program.

    1 May 2009 -- The second Air Force Academy Athletic Hall of Fame class is inducted at a dinner at the Colorado Springs Marriott.  The class consists of:  coach and recruiting director Jim Bowman; six-time NCAA champion runner Callie (Calhoun) Molloy (Class of '91); football players Dee Dowis ('90), Terry Isaacson ('64), and Ernie Jennings ('71); and football coach Ben Martin (Navy '46).

    1 May 2013 -- The Life Sciences Research Center is awarded its first NRC-AFSOR-sponsored senior scientist, Dr. Patrick Hallenbeck, who comes to the Academy from the University of Montreal in Quebec. He is assisting research efforts involving microbial fuel cells.

    2 May 2007 -- General Ronald Fogleman, Class of '63, becomes the first Air Force Academy graduate to receive the Thomas D. White Award, accepting the 2006 honor at a ceremony in the Library.  The award, established in 1962, is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States.

    3 May 1955 -- Mr. Carroll Tyler, General Manager of architect Skidmore, Owing and Merrill's Air Force Academy Project, sends a letter to nature photographer Ansel Adams, thanking him for his work photographing the Academy site, saying "the photos are excellent and they certainly will provide our planners with a wonderful choice for their mural presentations."  The photomurals were a key component of the firm's display later in May at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

    3 May 1959 -- The human interest television series "You Asked For It" devotes its entire 30-minute episode to the Academy, its traditions, the events leading to its birth, its past and its future.  Filming took two weeks.

    3 May 1976 -- Thomas C. Reed, Secretary of the Air Force, approves the equal semester plan. The arrangement was introduced in the fall 1976 semester.

    3 May 2011 -- The Falcon Circle is dedicated in an official ceremony, making it the newest of the Cadet Chapel's worship areas.  While open to use by all religious communities to worship in a manner respectful of other faiths, the Earth-Centered community receives precedence.

    4 May 1963 -- The Academy hosts the First Annual Rocky Mountain Bioengineering Symposium.

    4 May 1968 -- Peggy Fleming, Olympic gold medal winner, skates at the dedication the Cadet Ice Rink  in the Academy's new Field House.

    5 May 1962 -- The Louis Bleriot Speed Trophy of France, now in the Library, is donated to the Academy.  The trophy was won on 10 May 1961 at Edwards Air Force Base when the Convair B-58 HUSTLER exceeded 2,000 kilometers (1,302 miles) per hour.  On 27 May 1961, the crew was in Paris to accept the trophy from Mrs. Bleriot.  They stated they wanted to trophy to go to the Air Force Academy.  The crew was killed shortly thereafter, and their widows donated it to the Academy.

    5May 1974 -- Aviation pioneers Chuck Yeager and Jacqueline Cochran begin a joint three-day visit to the Academy.

    5 May 2005 -- The Honorable James A. Baker III, Chief of Staff for both President Ronald Reagan and President George H. W. Bush. gives the 27th Eaker Lecture.

    6 May 1955 -- Models and photomurals are delivered by van to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center for an exhibit that would show architect Skidmore, Owings and Merrill's design for the new Academy.  Included in the exhibit were photos of the site taken in April by noted nature photographer Ansel Adams, a job for which he was paid $1005.62.

    6 May 1966 -- The Falcon Foundation gives the Academy the "Gallery of Great Airmen", with its  67 portraits.  The portraits are displayed in the exemplar area of Fairchild Hall.

    6 May 1986 -- The Association of Graduates names Russell Thayer Tutt II an Honorary Member.  Mr. Tutt was a key member of Colorado Springs' effort to win the Air Force Academy and a dominant figure in shaping the growth of Colorado Springs.  Honorary membership is awarded to persons who have rendered outstanding service to the Air Force and/or the Academy.  Membership is limited to 25 living persons.

    6 May 1988 -- The Tuskegee sculpture "The Black Airman" is dedicated.  The statue, displayed on the Honor Court, was sculpted by Tuskegee Airman Clarence Shivers.  It was donated by the Hooks-Jones Chapter (Colorado) of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

    6 May 1989 -- The Superintendent, Lieutenant General Charles R. Hamm, marries Sandra Hughes in the Protestant Cadet Chapel.  General Hamm had been widowed in October 1987, four months after becoming Superintendent, when his wife, Jane, passed away suddenly.

    6 May 1997 -- Ervin Rokke, Class of '62, is named as President of Moravian College and Theological Seminary.  He would begin his tenure on 1 August.

    6 May 2011 -- The Association of Graduates names Edmund L. Ladouceur an Honorary Member.  Ladouceur was the Academy's second Music Director, and served for 28 years, serving from 1981 until 1989.  Honorary membership is awarded to persons who have rendered outstanding service to the Air Force and/or the Academy.  Membership is limited to 25 living persons.

    7 May 1994 -- The Association of Graduates names Norma Nottingham an Honorary Member.  From 1981 until her 1997 retirement, Mrs. Nottingham worked in the Academy Activities Group in the Pentagon and was the Academy's focal point for Congress in the nomination and admissions process.  Honorary membership is awarded to persons who have rendered outstanding service to the Air Force and/or the Academy.  Membership is limited to 25 living persons.

    8 May 1987 -- The Falcon Foundation gives the Academy a 15-foot bronze eagle.  The sculpture was placedon the trail between the Visitor Center and the Cadet Chapel.

    9 May 2000 -- South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond is presented the 1999 Thomas D. White Award at a ceremony in Washington D.C.  The award, established in 1962, is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States.

    10 May 1955 -- The 739th Air Force Band (which previously resided in England and had been deactivated in 1945) is reactivated to provide musical support for cadet athletics and military marching units.  The band was under the command of Lieutenant Carl Costenbader.

    10 May 1989 -- The Brigadier General Billy Mitchell statue is dedicated.  The statue was sculpted by Lieutenant Colonel Jerry McKenna and is displayed near Arnold Hall.

    10 May 2008 -- Dr. William Perry, former Secretary of Defense, is presented the 2007 Thomas D. White Award during a visit to the Academy.  The award, established in 1962, is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States.

    10 May 2011 -- The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library establishes the Clark-Yudkin Research Fellowship to support scholars interested in advanced research in the McDermott Library.

    10 May2012 -- Cadet First Class Dustin Hayhurst, Class of '12, receives the 2011 Cadet of the Year award at a Pentagon ceremony.  The Air Force-level award recognizes the most outstanding cadet in an Air Force commissioning program.

    10 May 2013 -- FalconWorks receives a patent for the Therabalance, based on work done byAcademy faculty and cadets. The Therabalance can be used by physical therapists to help patients regain balance after strokes or injuries.

    11 May 1972 -- First Lieutenant Michael Blassie, Class of '70, is killed when his A-37B Dragonfly is shot down over Vietnam.  In 1984, his remains were buried in the Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  In 1996, when suspicion of his identity heightened, his remains were exhumed and identified.  His remains were buried on 11 July 1998 in the Jefferson National Cemetery, Missouri.

    11 May 1987 -- The Officers' Open Mess reopens after a five-month renovation.

    11May 2004 -- A bound copy of the compendium of nearly 50 oral history interviews completed by The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library to commemorate the Academy's 50th Anniversary is presented to the Association of Graduates.

    11 May 2007 -- The Memorial Pavilion at the Cemetery is dedicated.  The Pavilion, funded by the Association of Graduates, provides an indoor facility for events during inclement weather.

    11 May 2013 -- The fourth Air Force Academy Athletic Hall of Fame class is inducted at a dinner at the Colorado Springs Marriott.  The class consists of swimmers Karen (Reeder) Burton (Class of '84) and Patty (Gilette) Martinez ('83), football coach Fisher DeBerry, multi-sport athlete Parke Hinman ('64), runner Eric Mack('96), and football consensus All-American Carlton McDonald (93).

    12 May 1994 -- The Academy takes possession of an F-15 Eagle for static display.  The aircraft would replace the F-104 Starfighter on the Terrazzo.

    12 May1999 -- General Colin L. Powell, United States Army, is presented the 1998 Thomas D. White Award during a visit to the Air Force Academy.  The award, established in 1962, is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States.

    12 May 2001 -- The Association of Graduates names Fisher DeBerry an Honorary Member.  DeBerry was the Academy's head football coach from 1983 until his retirement in 2006, winning a record 169 games.  Honorary membership is awarded to persons who have rendered outstanding service to the Air Force and/or the Academy.  Membership is limited to 25 living persons.

    12 May 2011 -- Cadet First Class Christopher McCool, Class of '11, receives the 2010 Cadet of the Year award at a Pentagon ceremony.  The Air Force-level award recognizes the most outstanding cadet in an Air Force commissioning program.  The award was presented by the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Norton Schwartz, Class of '73.

    12 May 2013 -- His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales visits the Academy during his week-long visit to the United States.  He was in the country to raise awareness for the Warrior Games, which took place at the Academy and the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

    13 May 1955 -- Architectural plans and models of the Academy, as well as photos of the undeveloped site, are presented at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center during a three-day period beginning on this day.  The response to architect Skidmore, Owings and Merrill's modernist design was not universally positive.

    13 May 1975 -- Captain James Kays, Class of '71, and  First Lieutenant Laurence Froehlich, Class of '72, are killed when their CH-53 helicopter crashed in Thailand en route to assist in the recovery operation for the crew of themerchant ship the SS Mayaguez, which had been captured by the Khmer Rouge. This was the final official act of the Vietnam War, and Mayaguez victims are the lastnames on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

    13 May 1977 -- Captain Dale Condit, an associate professor in the Department of Engineering, Engineering Mechanics and Materials, is the recipient of the first William P. Clements Award for Excellence in Education to be given at the Academy.

    13 May 2003 -- The book Falconry at the US Air Force Academy, authored by A. P. Clark and sponsored by The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library is released. Also released is the Friends-contracted DVD,Falconry at the Air Force Academy, produced by Word One.

    14 May 1963 -- The portrait of Brigadier General William Mitchell is unveiled in Mitchell Hall.

    14 May 2005 -- The Association of Graduates (AOG) names Nancy Burns an Honorary Member.  Ms. Burns served at the Academy almost continuously from 1964 until 2011, including work as liaison between the Academy and the AOG while in Protocol, Plans & Programs, and Development & Alumni Programs.  Honorary membership is awarded to persons who have rendered outstanding service to the Air Force and/or the Academy.  Membership is limited to 25 living persons.

    14 May2011 -- The third Air Force Academy Athletic Hall of Fame classis inducted at a dinner at the Colorado Springs Marriott.  The class consistsof athletic trainer Jim Conboy, sprinter Gail (Conway) Gray (Class of '84), hockey player and coach Chuck Delich ('77), All-American swimmer and Olympic pentathlete Bob Nieman ('70), and football All-American Scott Thomas ('86).

    15 May 1959 -- Pegasus, a marble replica of an original at the Italian War College, was presented as a gift of the Italian government.  The statue stood outside of Arnold Hall until 1994, when it was moved to Doolittle Hall.

    15 May 1960 -- Bart Holaday, Class of '65, is offered a Falcon Scholarship.  He attended prep school at New Mexico Military Institute, and went on to become the first Falcon Foundation scholarship recipient to earn a Rhodes Scholarship.

    15 May 1961 -- The Air Force Academy Preparatory School is activated, per General Order 10, HQ USAFA.Colonel Lee Black was its first commander.

    16 May 1948 -- The Donner Air Service, owned by Robert Donner, hosted the largest air show held in Colorado to date at Pine Valley Airport.

    16 May 1959 -- President Dwight Eisenhower makes a brief, informal visit to the Academy.  He was the first person to receive a Class of '59 diploma, which was presented to him by Cadet Herbert Adamson, the Cadet Wing Commander.  Eisenhower was the second person to be named an honorary member of '59, joining Lieutenant General Hubert Harmon, former Academy Superintendent.  Incidentally, Eisenhower and Harmon were both members of the West Point Class of '15.

    16 May 1986 -- The nine painting collection called 'The Way of the Eagle in the Air,' painted by the late Shlomo Katz, is gifted to the Academy by the Falcon Foundation.  The paintings are displayed in the Cadet Chapel's Jewish Chapel.

    16 May 2006 -- Chad Hennings, Class of '88, is elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.  A unanimous first-team All-American in 1987, he received the Outland Trophy as the nation's top interior lineman.  While a member of the Dallas Cowboys, he played in three Super Bowls.

    16 May 2012 -- The Cadet Fitness Center Addition is dedicated.  The $9.5 million, 50,000-square-foot center is located on the west side of the building.  It includes climbing walls, cardio equipment, aphysical fitness testing room, a weight room and a fencing center.

    17 May 1964 -- The Commandant of Cadets, Brigadier General Robert W. Strong, Jr., officially recognizes the Academy's group of skydivers and grants them club status.

    17 May 1973 -- The Air Force Academy Band begins a six day tour of the Azores.

    17 May 1994 -- A groundbreaking ceremony is held for the new Consolidated Education and Training Facility (CETF) immediately east of Fairchild Hall.  The $34 million project would house laboratories, classrooms, offices, and medical facilities.

    17 May 1999 -- Special Order G1 is issued, inactivating Cadet Squadrons 37, 38, 39, and 40.  Due to the reduction in the number of cadets in the wing, the squadrons were cut, effective 1 June 1999.  The squadrons were reactivated in August 2006.

    17 May 2006 -- Air Force Academy Heritage: The Early Years, a book by George Fagan, is released after being republished by The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library.

    18 May 2011 -- Cadetsbreak the Guinness World Record for the largest dodgeball game, with 3,612 cadets participatingThe previous record has been 2,136 people, set by the Rochester Institute of Technology on May 1, 2011.  By the time Guinness officially confirmed the Academy's effort as the world record, the University of California-Irvine had fielded 4,488 students in September 2011 and broken the record.

    19 May 1954 -- Court settles the final of eight claims on property used for the Air Force Academy (out of 140 parcels, ranging in size from 0.08 acres to 4,630 acres).

    19 May 1978 -- The Academy hosts the 1978 Colorado Special Olympics competition.  More than 2,000 youths from around the state participated.  This was the first time a service academy hosted a state Special Olympics event.

    19 May1989 -- The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library acquires the collection of Colonel Yvonne C. Pateman and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

    19 May 1993 -- The 8th Air Force Memorial Museum Foundation approves annual funding to the Friends of the Air Force Academy Library.

    19 May 2005 -- The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library-sponsored 50th Anniversary Interview Compendium is presented to the Academy Library.

    20 May 2009 -- First Lieutenant Roslyn Schulte, Class of 06, becomes the first female graduate killed in action when she dies from injuries sustained in an improvised explosive device explosion in Afghanistan.

    21 May 1981 -- The Superintendent, Lieutenant General Kenneth Tallman, receives the Order of the Sword.  The Order of the Sword is presented by enlisted members to an officer who they feel epitomizes officership.

    21 May 1981 -- The Cadet Chorale performs at the Miss USA Pageant in Biloxi, Mississippi.

    21 May 1995 -- The Academy's SAT-B is launched on a helium-filled balloon, the precursor of the FalconSAT projects that would follow. The mission was successful in testing an attitude-control system designed and fabricated by cadets.

    22 May 1964 -- The two-day 1964 National Collegiate Volleyball Championships begin at the Academy.

    23 May 1986 -- The Jewish Cadet Chapel rededication takes place.

    23 May 1991 -- Cadet Callie Calhoun, Class of '91, wins the national 10,000 meter title at the 1991 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships in San Angelo, Texas.  It was her sixth national championship.  With the win, Cadet Calhoun became the only Air Force track athlete to earn back-to-back national champion honors in both the indoor and outdoor seasons.

    23 May 2001 -- Callie (Calhoun) Molloy, Class of '91, is inducted into the NCAA Division II Track and Field Hall of Fame.  She won five NCAA national championships in track, with an additional win in cross country.  The presentation took place on the tenth anniversary of her sixth national title.

    23 May2012 --  President BarackH. Obama is the graduation speaker.

    24 May 1987 -- Dr. Robert H. Schuller, from the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, is the Protestant Baccalaureate guest speaker.

    24 May 1999 -- The Academy Protestant Cadet Chapel hosts the funeral of General James E. Hill, USAF, Retired.  General Hill, a World War II ace, former commander of the North American Air Defense Command, and a prominent supporter of the Academy, is buried in the Academy Cemetery.

    25 May 1954 -- The architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill submits its questionnaire indicating its desire to design and construct the air force academy.  Walter Andrew Netsch, Jr., age 34, was lead architect of the project.

    25 May1981 -- A dedication ceremony is held for the 40 foot tall American Legion Memorial Tower, in memory of all who have served their country from the Revolutionary War to the present.  The tower was displayed on the hill west of the Cadet Chapel until 22October 1996, when it was moved to its new site at the Academy Cemetery.

    25 May 1982 -- The Academy hosts the 1982 Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women's Division II National Golf Championships.  The Air Force team finished sixthin the four-day tournament.

    25 May 1990 -- Cadet Callie Calhoun, Class of '91, wins the national 3000 meter title at the 1990 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Hampton, Virginia.  This was the first of her three outdoor national championships.

    25 May 2010 -- The inaugural Lieutenant Roslyn L. Schulte Cadet Character and Leadership Award is presented at a ceremony in the Library.  First Lieutenant Schulte, Class of '06, the first female graduate killed in action, died in Afghanistan in May 2009.  The award recognizes the senior cadet who best exemplifies the Air Force core values.  Cadet Mychol Alexander, Class of '10, was the first recipient.

    25 May 2011 -- The Class of 2011 graduates with the lowest attrition in Academy history - 20.1%.

    25 May 2013 -- The Air Force Academy Facebook page hits 100,000 fans.

    26 May 1953 -- The combined firms of Gugler, Kimball and Husted, and Harbeson, Hough, Livingston, and Larson are awarded a $106,000 contract to prepare "Architectural and Engineering studies for an Air Academy situated on a hypothetical site."

    26 May 1960 -- The first class to graduate from the new Air Academy High School building walk across the stage located at one end of the gym.  Thirty-nine seniors received their diplomas from School Board President Russell Wolfe.

    26 May 1990 -- Cadet Callie Calhoun, Class of '91, wins the 5000 meter national championship at the 1990 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Hampton, Virginia.

    26 May 2010 -- Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivers the commencement address, becoming the first chairman to do so.

    27 May 1992 -- The Class of '92 graduates.  With 1,076 members, '92 is the largest graduating class in Academy history.

    27 May 2008 -- The first statue in the Mall of Heroes, located between Fairchild and Vandenberg Halls, is dedicated.  That statue depictsFirst Lieutenant Karl Richter, Class of '64, who was shot down and killed on his 198th combat mission in Vietnam.  The Mall and the statue are gifts of the Class of '64, and the ceremony was conducted before the Class of '08 graduated, as he was the class exemplar.

    28 May 1954 -- Charles Lindbergh and other members of the Air Force Academy Site Selection Commission visit the proposed academy site near Colorado Springs .

    28 May 1958 -- Air Academy High School conducts its first graduation.  The ceremony was held on the front lawn of the Carlton mansion, the Superintendent's residence.  Major General James Briggs, the Superintendent, addressed the graduating class.  Seven students had completed the requirements for graduation.  The Air Force Academy woodwind quintet provided the music.

    28 May 1968 -- An F-105 Thunderbird is installed on the Terrazzo.  The plane was created from ten different aircraft with combat duty in Southeast Asia, with much of the work was done by the 2951st Combat Logistics Support Squadron at McClellan AFB, California.  Dedicated three days later, it resurrected the Thunderchief serial No. 60-0482.

    28 May 1980 -- Graduation is held for the class of '80, which includes the first 97 female graduates.  Kathleen Conley, ranked eighth overall, was the first female to graduate.

    28 May 1986 -- The Visitor Center, named after Senator Barry Goldwater, is dedicated.  The facility was the result of a $4.5 million venture of the Air Force Academy Foundation and the Air Force Academy Athletic Association.

    28 May 1986 -- Terrie Ann McLaughlin, Class of '86, becomes the first female cadet to graduate number one in the class order of merit.

    28 May 1991 -- The Association of Graduates holds a groundbreaking ceremony for its new alumni house.

    28 May1997 -- Captain Amy Svoboda, Class of 1989, is killed in an A-10 crash near Gila Bend, Arizona, earning the somber distinction of being the first female fighter pilot in the Air Force to die in service.

    28 May2008 -- President George W. Bush is the graduation speaker.

    29 May 1958 -- The first Ring Dinner and Dance is held, with the dinner in Mitchell Hall and the dance in Arnold Hall.

    29 May 1970 -- The Academy receives the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for exceptionally meritorious service.

    29 May 1980 -- Entertainer Bob Hope visits the Academy on his 77th birthday.

    29 May 1991 -- President George H. W. Bush is the graduation speaker.

    29 May 1996 -- General Ronald R. Fogleman, Class of '63, while Chief of Staff of the Air Force, becomes the first graduate to serve as graduation speaker.

    29 May 2013 -- Due to Pentagon-wide automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, the Thunderbirds were unable to perform at graduation.  In their place, volunteers arranged for graduation-week flyovers by several heritage aircraft, to include two P-51s, a B-25, and a P-40.

    30 May 1959 -- At a noon ceremony, the cadet dining hall is officially named Mitchell Hall, after Brigadier General William "Billy" Mitchell, an outspoken advocate for air power.  His son and daughter-in law attended the ceremony.  This was the first of five building dedications to take place over three days.

    30 May 1959 -- Mildred Miller, Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano, is the guest soloist for the Cadet Chorale's first on-site concert, in Arnold Hall.  Ms. Miller was the wife of Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier General) Wesley Posvar, head of the Department of Political Science.  Posvar, the first Air Force officer to receive a Rhodes Scholarship, went on to become chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh.

    30 May 1979 -- Cadet David Rhodes, Class of '79, becomes the first graduate to achieve a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average.

    30 May 1984 -- President Ronald Reagan speaks at graduation.  Security screening prevented some parents and guests from getting into Falcon Stadium before the President finished his speech.  The Federal Aviation Agency representative cancelled the Thunderbirds performance because the parking lot was not clear of people.

    30 May 1993 -- Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, is the Protestant Baccalaureate guest speaker.

    30 May 2005 -- On the day they were promoted, special tactics officers Captain Jeremy Fresques, Class of '01, and Captain Derek Argel, Class of '01, are killed when an Iraqi Air Force aircraft crashed in eastern Diyala province.

    30 May 2013 -- The faculty's Center of Innovation opens its Anti-Malware Lab.

    31 May 1959 -- At a 1:15 p.m. ceremony, the administration building is officially named Harmon Hall, after Lieutenant General Hubert Harmon, the Academy's first Superintendent.  Mrs. Harmon and several family members attended the ceremony.  This was the first of three building dedications to take place on this day.

    31 May 1959 -- At a 3:30 p.m. ceremony, the academic building is officially named Fairchild Hall, after General Muir Fairchild, the first commander of Air University and a key figure in Air Force and Air Force Academy education programs.  His widow was guest of honor at the ceremony.

    31 May 1959 -- At a 5:15 p.m. ceremony, the cadet social center is officially named Arnold Hall, after General of the Air Force Henry "Hap" Arnold, widely considered the father of the United States Air Force.  The Academy newspaper called him "perhaps the best known airman of them all."  Among his many distinctions, he was taught to fly by the Wright Brothers.  His widow represented him at the ceremony.

    31 May 1959 -- The first Protestant Baccalaureate service is held, in Arnold Hall -- for the first graduating class.

    31 May 1964 -- A bust of Dr. Theodore von Karman is dedicated.  The inscription describes him as "Dedicated architect of the modern United States Air Force."  The bust was sculpted by Judith Bland and is on display on the sixth floor of the library.  Von Karman received the Academy's T.D. White Award in 1963.

    31 May 1968 -- During the noon dedication of the F-105 Thunderbird on the Terrazzo, the F-105 flyby breaks the sound barrier, causing $170,000 worth of damage, including windows in Mitchell Hall, Vandenberg Hall, and the Cadet Gymnasium.

    31 May 1976 - The new dormitory is dedicated and named Sijan Hall, in honor of Captain Lance P. Sijan, Class of '65,the first and so far only graduate to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

    31 May 1978 -- The Class of '78 becomes the first class to not graduate in June.  The term, "June Week," traditionally used to describe graduation week festivities, instantly becomes a misnomer and begins to fade into history.

    31 May 1994 -- Gregg Popovich, Class of '70, is named executive vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association.

    31 May 1995 -- President William J. Clinton is the graduation speaker.

    31 May 1999 -- Captain Julian Chesnutt, Class of '89, leads an F-16 four-ship "night-vision-goggle" strike mission, one of 38 combat missions over Serbia and Kosovo, for which he received the Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship.

    31 May 2006 -- KAFA, the Academy radio station, broadcasts live from graduation for the first time.

    MW Network honored for feature on VB Coach Matt McShane!/news-detail/mwn-regional-edward-r-murrow-award-2014_04-22-14_bc5pr7


    Mountain West Network Honored with Edward R. Murrow Regional Award


    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Mountain West Network has been named a recipient of one of the most prestigious awards in broadcast journalism with the announcement of the 2014 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards today, presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). The MWN was recognized in the Small Online News Organization-Video Sports Reporting category for Region 3, which includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.


    The awards recognize work of the highest quality produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world. The MWN earned the honor for a feature story by executive producer Jesse Kurtz about Air Force head women's volleyball coach Matt McShane and his wife, Dana, following the loss of their home in a June 2013 wildfire. The segment, "Falcon Spirit Helps Coach Rebuild," which aired in August 2013, documents the McShanes' terrifying escape from the most destructive fire in Colorado history, and how the Falcon volleyball squad has aided in the recovery.


    This marks the seventh regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Kurtz, who was also recognized as the National Murrow Award winner for sports reporting in 2010 while at KKTV Channel 11 in Colorado Springs. Widely respected by his peers as a versatile broadcaster, Kurtz has also worked as a sideline reporter for NFL games and college basketball contests, and a color analyst for college football radio broadcasts. From 2007-2010, he served as a Top 25 voter for College Football's Harris Poll.


    Kurtz joined the Mountain West in October 2012. As executive producer, Kurtz is responsible for supervising the creation of unique audio and visual content for the Conference's new digital network. In addition to serving as the network's primary anchor, Kurtz produces weekly news content and features on the Conference and its member institutions.


    The RTDNA has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism.


    As a regional award winner, the Mountain West Network is automatically entered in the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be judged in May. National awards will be presented at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City on October 6.

    Air Force testing helmet of the future

    A story on mentions Air Force and its testing of the helmet of the future. To check out the story, go to the link below.