Will Conant connected on a 39-yard field goal as time expired for the win
Due to the Academy appointment process, names of recruited student-athletes will not be released until they arrive on campus this summer.
Linebacker Austin Niklas had 14 tackles and Alex Means 12 for Air Force
Armed Forces Bowl Kickoff Press Conference Quotes
Falcons to face Rice on Dec. 29 in Forth Worth, Texas. Game televised by ESPN.
Air Force vs. Colorado State
Football vs. San Diego State; photos by Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Football, USATSI Gallery -- 11/8/14
USATSI Gallery -- 10/18/14
The purpose of the United States Air Force Academy is to develop young people of strong character who graduate and serve as outstanding leaders on active duty and beyond. It’s a purpose Troy Calhoun thoroughly respects and realizes is necessary for our country. Calhoun left the Houston Texas of the NFL as an offensive coordinator in 2007 to embrace the mission of the Air Force Academy and accomplish what was once considered nearly impossible: building a service academy program that often earns a postseason bid while playing in one of college football’s best conferences. Seven of his eight years Air Force has been to a bowl under Calhoun’s guidance. The coach has guided Air Force to a 59-44 career record entering his ninth season.
Air Force student-athletes must complete the nation’s most demanding academic curriculum while further embedding the heart and character that are crucial for serving America. Cadets at the Academy must work through courses that require finishing over 140 semester hours. Strong character traits, to include respect, teamwork, courage, spirit, discipline, honesty and toughness, are the bedrock of the leadership qualities Air Force football players utilize while serving as officers in the United States Air Force. Calhoun and his staff have come up with a way to manage the varied demands of their players and lead them into a cohesive team that has fared quite well both on and off the field in his eight seasons as head coach.
Calhoun’s players are extraordinarily successful finishing their academic and leadership responsibilities. The Air Force football team’s NCAA APR (Academic Progress Report) is annually amongst the finest of the 127 schools that play at the FBS level of college football. From May 2007 through the present, Air Force Football’s multi-year APR has finished above the nation’s 90th percentile six of the last eight years which is more than any sport at any service academy. Air Force football’s most recent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) is 93 percent. In addition to being one of the nation’s best in regards to the NCAA’s APR and GSR, 169 of 170 seniors (99%) who have played for Calhoun since 2007 have graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and served as officers for our nation.
Calhoun is the only coach in the history of service academy team ball sports to lead teams to a post-season bid six consecutive years. They have done this while playing very strong opponents. Calhoun’s 2009 Air Force squad was the only team in the last 50 years of service academy football to play at least four ranked teams and win a bowl game in the same season. In the 100-plus year history of service academy football, Calhoun is the first coach to lead teams to at least six wins and a bowl game in each of his first six seasons.
Calhoun’s 2014 team finished 10-3 overall while having all 28 seniors graduate from the Air Force Academy. Calhoun was named as a finalist for the Maxwell National Coach of the Year. The Falcons qualified for their seventh bowl game in eight years, and by winning the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, captured their third bowl championship since 2009. Air Force defeated Army and Navy to win a record 19th Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy and its third CINC title in the last five years. The Falcons were also one of just two teams nationally to beat two 10-win teams in the regular season. The Falcons beat Boise State and in-state rival Colorado State, who each won 10-plus games. Air Force’s 10-win season was the first this century for the Academy and just the ninth in the last 100 years of service academy football. The team finished 6-0 at home for just the third time in school history. Calhoun’s 2007 squad also finished 6-0 at home.
Air Force earned a bid in 2012 to the Armed Forces Bowl. Air Force won its second straight Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy (then-record 18th overall) in 2011, the first back-to-back titles at the Academy since 2001-02 and earned their fifth straight bowl game in the Military Bowl. The 2010 Air Force team finished 9-4 overall and won Air Force’s 17th Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy championship with wins over Army and Navy. The Falcons closed the 2010 season with a victory over Georgia Tech of the ACC in the Independence Bowl. Calhoun was named Coach of the Year by the Colorado Chapter of the National Football Foundation.
The 2009 Air Force team finished 8-5 overall and concluded with a convincing 47-20 win over 25th-ranked Houston in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Air Force set 13 Academy bowl team records in the dominant victory. The team also set six school records during the 2009 season. Calhoun was named Coach of the Year by the Colorado Chapter of the National Football Foundation for his efforts.
Calhoun’s 2007 and 2008 Air Force teams finished 9-4 and 8-5, respectively, and both earned bowl bids. The 2007 Falcons were the only team in Air Force history to win road games at Notre Dame, Utah and Colorado State in the same season. The five-game turnaround from 2006, in which Air Force was 4-8, was the largest in the nation that season by a first-year head coach. The five-game turnaround was the best in school history since the 1958 team had a school-record turnaround of six games.
Air Force’s nine wins tied Calhoun for the most wins ever at a service academy by a first-year head coach, matching the mark set by Ben Martin in 1958. The six MWC wins set a new Academy standard and were two wins better than the previous mark for conference wins by a first-year head coach at the Academy. Calhoun was named the Mountain West Conference’s Coach of the Year for his efforts. In addition, he was named Coach of the Year in Region 5 by the American Football Coaches Association and was one of eight finalists for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award. He was also one of seven finalists for the AFCA National Coach of the Year award.
Calhoun brought to Air Force a wealth of experience at the collegiate and professional levels that was flooded with success at every stop prior to the Academy. Calhoun came to the Academy after serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Houston Texans in 2006. The Texans were one of only two NFL teams to triple their number of wins from the previous year. The 2006 Texans were the last team to defeat the Indianapolis Colts on their way to the Super Bowl championship. On offense, the Texans had the NFL’s leading receiver (Pro Bowler Andre Johnson with 103 catches), the NFL’s best quarterback completion percentage (68.4 percent) and their quarterback tied a NFL record against Buffalo with 22 straight completions.
Calhoun became a well-rounded NFL coach, working as a defensive assistant, special teams assistant and offensive assistant with the Denver Broncos from 2003-05. He began his NFL coaching career by serving on the defensive side of the ball in 2003. He helped coach the NFL’s fourth-best defense. The Broncos’ defense ranked seventh against the run and sixth against the pass. Denver’s defense yielded a mere 17.6 points per game as they made the playoffs for the first time since 2000.
In 2004, Calhoun moved to become an assistant on offense and worked with the special teams. The offense ranked fifth in the NFL, averaging 395.8 yards per game. Calhoun worked closely with Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan in the 2005 season, serving as the assistant to the head coach. The Broncos won the AFC West title for the 10th time in their history and played for the AFC Championship game for the first time in seven seasons. Their 14-4 record was the best since Denver finished the 1998 season as winners of Super Bowl XXXIII. The offense finished fifth in the NFL averaging 360.4 yards per game. The defense was stout against the run, finishing second in the NFL with 85.2 yards per game. Denver finished with an undefeated record at home during the regular season for the fifth time in team history. During Calhoun’s three years in Denver, the Broncos made the playoffs every season, averaging over 11 wins a year.
Prior to the NFL, Calhoun was an offensive coordinator for six seasons on the collegiate level. He began his coaching career at Air Force, where he worked as a graduate assistant from 1989-90. He started at quarterback for the Academy in 1986 and was one of only two freshmen to letter for the 1985 team.
Calhoun served his country from 1989-95 as an active duty officer in the Air Force. He was an assistant coach for the Falcons in 1993-94. He moved to Ohio University in the spring of 1995 where he served as the quarterbacks coach for two seasons. Calhoun was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1997. During his first season at the helm, the offense totaled 612 yards against Eastern Michigan, second-most in school history. The Bobcats defeated Maryland in 1997, marking the school’s first win against a team from the ACC in school history. The `97 Bobcats’ 8-3 record was the school’s best in 29 years. During his last season at Ohio in 2000, the Bobcats beat two bowl teams, Minnesota and Marshall, for the first time in school history. Calhoun’s 2000 offense set a school record with 418.1 yards per game.
Calhoun moved to Wake Forest in 2001. The Demon Deacons were one of only seven teams in the country to score more than 30 points in each of the final four games. During his second season, Wake led the ACC in total offense with 408.1 yards per game. His offense had a league-best 990 plays and was efficient with the ball, committing only 16 turnovers, fewest in the ACC. The 2001 season culminated with a 38-17 bowl victory over Oregon to give Wake Forest its first back-to-back winning seasons since the ACC expanded from eight teams.
Calhoun was raised in a home where both kids graduated from the Air Force Academy and were varsity letter winners on nationally-ranked teams. Calhoun’s younger sister, Callie, is a 1991 Academy graduate. She was a 10-time track and cross country All-American who won six NCAA national titles. Troy Calhoun graduated from the Academy in 1989 as a member of the superintendent’s list by earning over a 3.0 grade point average along with a military performance average of better than 3.0. He also completed a master’s in business administration (MBA) from Oklahoma City University in 1992. He and his wife, Amanda, live in Colorado Springs and have two children, Tyler (13) and Amelia (11). Troy and Amanda Calhoun have a strong respect and affinity for the members of our armed services and are very involved with numerous charitable and community endeavors.
CALHOUN'S COACHING LEDGER
Background / Honors