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College football: Troy Calhoun's Air Force teams getting less and less competitive

COACH ON THE HOT SEAT — Since placing second in the Mountain West Conference in Troy Calhoun's first season, 2007, the Falcons have not finished higher than a tie for third.
by Berry Tramel Modified: December 26, 2012 at 9:50 am •  Published: December 25, 2012
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photo - Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun (left) and Sooner head coach Bob Stoops talk before the college football game where the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) defeated the Air Force Falcons 27-24 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, in Norman, Okla.   Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun (left) and Sooner head coach Bob Stoops talk before the college football game where the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) defeated the Air Force Falcons 27-24 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

Air Force Academy football started in 1956. The Falcons have had six head coaches in their history.

Buck Shaw was the first coach and lasted two years. Bill Parcells coached Air Force to a 3-8 record in 1978, then jumped to the New York Giants as defensive coordinator.

But Ben Martin coached Air Force for 20 years, Ken Hatfield for five and Fisher DeBerry for 23.

Now Troy Calhoun coaches the Academy, and the Falcons are growing less and less competitive. Calhoun's records are 9-4, 8-5, 8-5, 9-4, 7-6 and now 6-6, facing Rice in the Armed Forces Bowl.

Since placing second in the Mountain West Conference in Calhoun's first season, 2007, the Falcons have not finished higher than a tie for third.

Air Force does not go around firing coaches, and the Academy likes Calhoun. But Calhoun needs a victory over Rice to avoid a losing record and keep Air Force football from slipping even further into mediocrity.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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