Academy salutes DeBerry's legacy -- watch the videos
May 7, 2007
Air Force Academy cadets and leaders recognized the contributions and achievements of former football coach Fisher DeBerry during a parade in the cadet area last Friday and a dinner at the Broadmoor Hotel Saturday.
DeBerry served as football head coach for 23 years and spend 27 overall at the Academy. His leadership developed thousands of cadets into officers of character, now leading the Air Force and the country.
During the parade, Coach DeBerry was presented the Outstanding Educator Award. The award recognizes educators for their superior teaching accomplishments and a demonstrated ability to instill high standards of integrity, service, and leadership in Air Force future officers.
At the tribute dinner, Coach DeBerry was presented the Exceptional Civilian Service Award by the Secretary of the Air Force, Michael W. Wynne; the Malham M. Wakin Character Development Award; a Senate Resolution presented by Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colo.); and a Congressional Resolution presented by Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.). In addition, several other presentations were made by former players and staff members.
The Distinguished Personal Service Award is presented for exceptional meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the U.S. Air Force. The Mal Wakin Character Award is presented to cadets or personnel assigned to the Academy who have made significant contributions to cadet character development. Senate and Congressional Resolutions are presented after a member of the House or Senate recognizes an individual on the floor of the respective chamber. Fisher DeBerry's record stands alone at Air Force and stands up against the best in the nation. He led 17 of his 23 teams to winning records and 12 captured a bowl bid, posting a 6-6 record. His career record of 169-109-1 is the best in school history in terms of games won and winning percentage. He is also the winningest service academy football coach of all-time.
He coached the Falcons to three conference championships. The team won a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship in 1985, his second season, and again in 1995. In 1998, DeBerry guided the team to its first outright title with the WAC Mountain Division championship and a win over Brigham Young in the title game in Las Vegas. He was named WAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. The 1998 team's 12-1 record completed the first back-to-back 10-win seasons in school history following a 10-3 campaign the previous year. The 1998 squad finished the season ranked 10th nationally.