Gene Miranda is in his 25th and final year as head coach. He will be retiring at the end of the season after 28 years of successful service.
Miranda served as the junior varsity coach for three years (1968-71), before taking over the job as the varsity head coach in 1971, coaching from 1971-1983. He held that position until he retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in 1983. After taking five years off, Miranda returned in 1988 and has been the head coach since.
Last season, Miranda guided the Air Force golf team to another successful season. The Falcons registered three of their top five all-time team tournament scores, with one first- and two third-place finishes.
This fall, under the tutelage of the veteran coach, the Falcons captured their seventh consecutive team championship title in the Service Academy Classic. Air Force saw Ben Leestma win his fourth consecutive Service Academy tournament victory, as well as notch two additional tournament victories to become the winningest golfer in the Academy's history. In winning the Falcon Antigua Invitational, he carded 207 -- breaking the Air Force 54-hole tournament record.
In January of 1998, Miranda was inducted into the Golf Coaches Hall of Fame. He was presented the prestigious honor at a luncheon in Orlando, Florida.
His dual meet record as a head coach is 180-5, converting to an unbelievable winning percentage of 97 percent. Between 1980-83, Miranda coached 35 straight dual match victories for the Falcons. Under Miranda's leadership, Air Force's best season came in 1982 when the team went 24-0. Because of recent limitations on the number of competitive days a golf team can now play, dual meets are rarely ever scheduled anymore. Competition days are now used almost exclusively for tournaments.
Air Force has been successful in tournament play, despite taking on some of the best teams in the nation. The Falcons have won seven straight Service Academy Classics and, in 1994, won the Grand Canyon/Thunderbird Invitational in Arizona. In 1997, Miranda's Falcons placed ahead of two teams (Northwestern and Washington) that would end the season ranked in the Top 25. In the fall of 1998, the Falcons set the Academy record for lowest 54-hole score by a team (871, Falcon-Cross Creek Invitational). The score broke the previous record, set by Miranda's 1996 team at the WAC Championships (877).
As the Falcons' leader, Miranda has coached five of the Academy's six All-American golfers, all three academic All-Americans golfers and has had at least one player qualify for the NCAA Championships 14 times. Of the 13 different Falcons to win a tournament, 11 have been coached by Miranda. Additionally, 12 times his teams have won a tournament.
Miranda has over 30 years of experience as a golf instructor. He became a member of the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) in 1986 and since that time has become a highly respected teaching professional and was used as an instructor at the PGA National Junior Golf Academy. Miranda also conducts two one-week junior golf schools at the Air Force Academy each June. His instruction articles have appeared in Golf Digest, Golf World and Golf Magazine. He also served as an educational consultant for the National Golf Foundation and the first coach ever to serve on the prestigious USGA Rules of Golf Committee. From 1991 to 1993, he served as a rules official for the U.S. Open. More recently, Miranda was certified as a rules expert and appointed to serve on the PGA of America Rules Committee. Among his duties are to officiate several PGA-sponsored tournaments and give rules clinics.
While in the Air Force, Miranda held the academic rank of tenured associate professor and was chief of the Physical Education Instruction Division. He taught boxing, wrestling, self-defense courses and golf. He also produced an instructional golf film and manual for use by students and teachers.
He served 10 years as president of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Golf Association (RMIGA) and is a former president of the 400-member Golf Coaches Association of America. He is also a governor for the Colorado State Golf Association and former member of the NCAA Golf Coaches All-America Selection Committee. He presently chairs the GCAA constitution committee and serves on the GCAA Honor Award Committee.
A graduate from San Jose State in 1962 with honors in physical education, Miranda received a master's degree from SJSU in 1963. He taught physical education in the Oakland public school system prior to entering the Air Force later that year.
Miranda also attended San Francisco State in 1958 and earned a varsity golf letter as a freshman before transferring to San Jose State. He received three more varsity golf letters at SJSU.
While in the Air Force, Miranda qualified for the Air Force worldwide championships and inter-service championships. He also played in numerous international tournaments while stationed in Europe and Southeast Asia. As a civilian, he played in the Colorado Open and many other professional events throughout the state.