Irving has been a member of the Academy's track and field staff since 1999.
Irving was honored with a Career Achievement award at the annual SWC banquet.
In 14 seasons, Irving has developed the Academy throwers into one of the top throwing programs, not only in the Mountain West Conference, but nationally as well, on both the NCAA and USATF championship scenes. Under Irving's guidance, program records have been rewritten countless times in every field event. In addition, the throwers have continued to increase point production at the MWC Championships. In fact, the women's throws team, which includes over two-thirds of the program's all-MWC selections, has scored over half of the team points at the conference championships every year since 2003.
Last season was another strong season for the Air Force throwing team, as Rob Drye successfully defended his conference title in the hammer throw, overcoming an injury in December that had threatened to end his career, and Paige Blackburn claimed the program's ninth conference title in the javelin. Blackburn also set the program standard in the weight throw, while accounting for the program's second-best marks in all of the other throwing events. The Air Force throwers accounted for six all-conference selections at the MW Outdoor Championships, backed by two of the top-three placements in the women's javelin throw.
The 2011 season saw several firsts take place for the Irving's throwers, as James Cole claimed the men's first-ever All-America accolade in the discus throw and Drye won the program's first conference title in the hammer throw. Cole also became the first thrower to claim all-MWC status in the discus, while Drye set Academy records in the weight throw and hammer throw. With the second-best discus mark in Academy history, Cole was one of three juniors to move into second on the program's all-time lists in 2011, joining Kyle Schwochow and Blackburn, who each moved into second on the program's all-time lists in their respective indoor shot put events.
The 2010 season accounted for five MWC titles, one All-America certificate and four Academy records from Irving-coached athletes. Sara Neubauer, who won conference titles in the indoor shot put, weight throw, outdoor shot put and discus throw, earned All-America status in the discus throw for the second straight year and set Academy records in the indoor and outdoor shot put, weight throw and hammer throw. Katie Weber won the javelin throw at the conference meet, as Air Force accounted for five of the six throwing titles at the combined conference championships. In addition, Neubauer won four event titles at the Military Championships, leading the women to their first-ever team championship at the all-service academy meet.
Under Irving's direction, Neubauer became the Falcons' first female athlete ever to earn multiple All-America honors at the Division I level, following top-eight finishes in the shot put and discus throw at the 2009 NCAA Championships. Neubauer, who scored for Air Force in all four throwing events at the MWC Outdoor Championships and earned all-conference accolades in the shot put and discus throw, set Academy records in the indoor and outdoor shot put, as well as the hammer throw (in just her first year throwing that apparatus).
Jocelyn Dooley was the Academy's first female NCAA Division I regional qualifier in 2003. Since that time, Irving's throwers have accounted for 28 of the 39 female qualifiers to the NCAA Regional meet. And of the eight times Falcons have advanced to the national championship meet in all women's sports at the Academy, Irving has coached seven (Pounds three times, Korte twice, Neubauer twice and Dooley).
Since the Falcons joined the Mountain West Conference in 2000, Irving has coached 20 MWC champions and 19 MWC runners-up during the indoor and outdoor seasons for the Falcons' men's and women's track and field teams. In fact, Irving-coached athletes have won at least one conference javelin title during eight of the last 12 years and hold the women's championship meet record.
With Neubauer's titles in the indoor shot put, weight throw, outdoor shot put and discus throw, Weber's 2010 javelin championship, Korte's 2007 crown in the discus throw, Pounds' three titles in the javelin, Dominique Boivin's 2003 discus title and Ana-Maria Ortega's 2001 title in the pole vault, Irving claims all 11 of Air Force's female Mountain West Conference champions.
For his success, Irving has been honored as the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I Mountain Region Women's Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2010. He is the first Air Force assistant coach to be honored in this capacity and third overall connected to the throws program, joining Neubauer (Mountain Region Outdoor Female Field Athlete of the Year, 2010) and Dana Pounds (Mountain Region Outdoor Female Field Athlete of the Year, 2006).
Irving brought impressive credentials to the Academy. Countless champions in four leagues, over 35 All-Americans, eight national champions, numerous national team members and two Olympians have developed under his tutelage.
He helped build two NCAA championship programs at Oregon (1977-83) and Florida (1983-89). Three records for Irving-coached athletes stand at Oregon, and Florida throwers earned five of the top seven places in the women's discus throw at the 1989 SEC championships, including the champion and runner-up.
From 1989-93, Irving guided Illinois' men's team back to the conference title, as he built the strongest field events program in the Big Ten. At Illinois, he coached three Big Ten triple jump champions, including 1991 Big Ten Medal of Honor winner, GTE Academic All-American and NCAA outdoor All-American Aaron Mobarak. Another Irving-coached athlete, JD Teach, was a five-time conference shot put champion and NCAA All-American.
Records by Irving's javelin throwers still stand in five programs where he has coached (Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten Conference, Southeastern Conference, Pac-10 Conference, Mountain West Conference).
Irving has continued to coach Pounds after her collegiate career ended. Under Irving's supervision, she won the national title at the 2007 USATF Championships, upsetting the defending champion and then-American record holder. A member of Team USA and the Air Force World Class Athlete Program, Pounds placed second at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials and has competed at the World Championships and Pan-American Games.
He also coach Neubauer to a USTF Junior National title in the shot put following her freshman campaign.
Irving's national coaching assignments include the 1985 World University Games, the 1987 Olympic Festival, head coach for the 1989 junior tour, the 1990 Scandinavian Javelin Tour, and the "U.S. vs. Great Britain" Meet in the summer of 1993. In 2009, Irving was selected as a featured speaker at the annual U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention, where he spoke on coaching javelin throwers. In addition, Irving has written dozens of technical articles.
A recipient of two master's degrees (Art History from Northwestern in 1977 and Physical Education from Oregon in 1979), the 1973 Willamette University graduate places the pursuit of academic excellence as an utmost priority.
Irving's throwers at Oregon annually dotted the dean's list, while his throwers at Florida made the All-SEC academic team 40 times. Since joining the Academy, his athletes have earned academic all-conference honors on over 55 occasions.
Phenomenally, during two of his four years at Illinois, he had athletes awarded the most prestigious accolade - the Big Ten Medal of Honor for academic/athletic excellence. That tradition of academic excellence continues at the Academy, as eight Falcons have been named to the national USTFCCCA All-Academic Team and Brian Willis, a 2005 USAFA graduate, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship.
Irving was born in Portland, Ore., 40 miles from his hometown of Cascade Locks. He and his wife, Allyn, have been married 40 years and have two sons, Scott and Kevin.
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