I wrote a story for Thursday’s edition of The Gazette about how Air Force football coach Troy Calhoun likely will be courted by some of the schools that will have head coaching vacancies after this season.
Find the story here.
Anyway, there were a bunch of things I wasn’t able to fit in the story because of space restrictions that I wanted to add here. …
-Construction on the proposed indoor facility can’t begin soon enough for those who want desperately for the academy to keep Calhoun.
Calhoun has championed the academy’s need for an indoor facility, and it would be a big help for recruiting as well as offseason conditioning and throwing and catching. It also would show, big time, that the academy is listening to Calhoun and, to quote athletic director Hans Mueh, “shows him that we’re interested in making his program better.”
-At the end of the story I listed factors that were in Air Force’s favor for keeping Calhoun. One more could be that the college game nationally has become more and more about throwing the ball. While Calhoun certainly has expertise in this area as a former NFL offensive coordinator, his Air Force teams have kept the ball mostly on the ground.
Then again, Georgia Tech hired Paul Johnson, who did little offensively but run the ball while at Navy.
-My story dealt mostly with college programs courting Calhoun, but don’t discount the NFL.
Calhoun spent four years in the pros prior to coming to Air Force, and it’s evident in talking to him that he loved his time there and the challenges he encountered. When I talked to athletic director Hans Mueh about all this on Monday, he said, “I actually worry more about the Broncos than I do about the college ranks because I think he is at the college program that he wants to be at.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with (Broncos coach) Mike Shanahan if and when he decides to retire. I hope that’s like five or six years out from now. And maybe that’s a job that Troy would be interested in.”
-Brian Gomez, The Gazette’s Olympics beat writer, attended Tuesday night’s Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame dinner and spoke to Chris Fowler, a Palmer High graduate and the host of ESPN’s wildly popular College GameDay program, about Calhoun.
Here’s some of what Fowler had to say to Gomez.
On Calhoun’s success: “I’ve learned not to be surprised by what he has done. I was surprised last season, and I got a chance to get to know him a little bit. You could tell over the phone the energy that he had, and the fresh approach, and the enthusiasm, and the fact that the team had really bought in, and the results were showing up on the field.”
On Calhoun’s future: “It’s flattering when your coach is talked about as a hot property for other schools. If no one is talking about your coach, it means you’re not winning enough. I think Air Force folks have to understand that. He seems to have a real commitment and a loyalty and a passion to the academy, which I think is a plus. I don’t think he’s a mercenary-kind of coach. I have no idea what’s inside his head, if the right offer came along. But I think the best thing you’ve got going for you is you’ve got a guy that seems to have a real passion for the place. It takes a special kind of coach to coach at an academy and deal with the challenges and the academic restrictions. It’s also at the same time super rewarding.”
-Though it hasn’t “been about the money” for Calhoun, it wouldn’t hurt to be able to offer him more money. And to offer his assistants more money.
This is where the USAFA Endowment, created in July of 2007, could be huge.
Mueh said Calhoun “knows we’ve worked through the USAFA Endowment folks already and essentially told them, ‘If you’re willing to help us with this, here’s the bill. And it’s extensive.’ If we want to do for these folks what they deserve, we’re going to need some extra funds. So can I offer him more? Absolutely.”