Richard Bell is in his 12th year at the Academy overall and eighth as defensive coordinator.
Bell has been right at home at the Academy. He was named the Assistant Coach of the Year in 1998 by the American Football Coaches Association. A year prior to that, Bell was nominated by the AFA staff for the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach.
A native of Little Rock, Ark., Bell has helped Air Force to four postseason bowl games and coached Chris Gizzi to All-America honors. Gizzi, a two-time WAC defensive player of the year, developed into one of the finest players ever to wear the blue and silver. He played professionally for the Green Bay Packers.
Bell also turned former Falcon Anthony Schlegel into a big-time college player. Schlegel, selected to The Sporting News' Freshman All-America team in 2001, was a first-team all-conference selection in 2002 before transferring to Ohio State. Schlegel was a third-round draft pick by the New York Jets in 2006.
Bell came to the Academy from Navy, where he served as defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach in 1994. Prior to his stint at Navy, Bell spent five seasons at Georgia as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach.
A 1959 graduate of Arkansas, Bell earned a degree in physical education. He earned two letters while playing varsity football for the Razorbacks and later earned a master's degree from the school in 1962. Bell was captain of the 1958 Arkansas team in Frank Broyles' first season. Bell's 42 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level has seen him coach in 17 postseason bowl games.
Bell began his coaching career at Virginia Military Institute as an assistant in 1962-63. He then coached linebackers at Georgia Tech from 1964-67 before becoming defensive coordinator at West Virginia in 1968. After two years with the Mountaineers, Bell moved to Texas Tech as defensive coordinator from 1970-74.
In 1975, Bell moved to South Carolina where he was the defensive coordinator from 1971-81 and head coach in 1982. He then coached at Duke (1983-87) and East Carolina (1987-88) as the defensive coordinator before going to Georgia.
Bell has always been involved in his local community. He has been president of the adult group or a sponsor of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes everywhere he's coached.
He is active in the Colorado Springs community. He volunteers for community projects for his church and is active in Promise Keepers. He's been active in the AFCA, having served on several committees. Most recently, he was on the Assistant Coaches Committee.
Bell and his wife, Marilyn, have three daughters, Michelle, Meredith and Melinda and one son, Murry. The Bells have six grandchildren (Macy, Daniel, Benjamin, Taylor, Haley and Alyssa).