I wrote this story for today’s edition of The Gazette about Callie (Calhoun) Molloy, one of the six members of the Air Force Academy Athletic Department Hall of Fame’s second induction class. (The other members are former athletic administrator/football coach Jim Bowman, former football coach Ben Martin, former football players Dee Dowis and Ernie Jennings and former football player and wrestler Terry Isaacson. I posted some more information about those folks below).
Anyway, there were some interesting things I was unable to fit in the story that I thought I’d add here.
–I wrote about how Molloy became an elite runner because of her drive and work ethic. Both have helped her in her professional life as well.
After serving on active duty for the Air Force, she received a full scholarship from the Army to go to optometry school. She served four years on active duty in the Army following graduation, then went back to working in the Air force reserves. She still does some work for the Air Force reserves, does part-time civilian optometry work, interviews perspective Air Force Academy cadets and (if all that wasn’t enough) runs her own financial planning business – CJ Wealth Consulting, LLC.
–Molloy and her older brother (Air Force football coach Troy Calhoun) both said they were constantly competing when they were growing up in Oregon.
“All the time – that’s all I remember,” Molloy said. “We grew up out in the country, and my dad had a little baseball field in the front yard, a basketball hoop on the side of the house, a swimming pool, and we were pretty much playing something and competing from sun up to sun down – whether it was sports or Monopoly or whatever.”
Calhoun said they’ll still go at it playing basketball to this day.
“It usually works best when nobody else is around,” Calhoun said. “Because that’s the only time people don’t want to be around us.”
–Molloy said her brother’s experience at Air Force (he graduated in 1989, two years before his sister) and the strong feelings he had for the academy influenced her college choice.
“Obviously I wanted to follow in my brother’s footsteps,” Molloy said. “We had a pretty special bond.”
–Calhoun, like others I spoke to for the story, praised his sister’s commitment and her work ethic.
“You can just remember hours upon hours she would play basketball in the rain,” he said. “It’s cold and wet, and she’d shoot and shoot and shoot and practice and practice, and you’d think, ‘Holy Cow.’”
–Molloy married a West Point grad, Joe. Calhoun said he’s fine with that choice “51 weeks out of the year.”
Air Force’s Other 2009 Hall of Fame Inductees
Football Coach/Associate AD
Few have loved the academy and meant more to its athletic department than Bowman. He came to Air Force in 1958 as a physical education instructor and served on the football team’s coaching staff. He was the head freshman and junior varsity coach before leaving coaching to devote all his time to recruiting support, where he served until retiring last year. An honorary member of the Association of Graduates, Bowman coached more than 1,000 football players and helped more than 13,000 cadet-athletes receive academy appointments.
Class of 1990
Arguably the best option quarterback in Air Force history. He started for three seasons and owns the academy record for career rushing yards with 3,612. In his senior season (1989), he finished sixth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, earned honorable mention Associated Press All-American honors and was named the Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
Class of 1964
A retired Air Force colonel and former multi-sport star, Isaacson is the academy’s lone three-time wrestling All-American (1962-64). He went 161-13 in his career and was the NCAA runner-up at 167 pounds in 1962. He also started on offense and defense for the football team from 1961-63. He led the team in rushing in 1961 and 1963 and led the team in passing, total offense and punting in 1962 and 1963. Isaacson gained 1,747 yards of total offense in 1963 when he was a Helms Football Foundation All-American and finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy vote.
Class of 1971
Arguably the greatest receiver in Air Force history and one of the top pass-catchers in college football in the early 1970s, Jennings owns every major academy receiving record, including career receptions (148), receiving yards (2,392) and touchdown receptions (28). He also still holds single-game school records for receptions (15 vs. Wyoming in 1969) and receiving yards (235 vs. Wyoming in 1970). Jennings is one of Air Force’s five consensus football All-Americans, earning the honor in 1970 when he also finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting and set single-season academy marks for catches (74) and receiving yards (1,289).
Known as the father of Air Force football, Martin helped put the Falcons on the college football map. In his first season, before the academy had even graduated a class, he guided Air Force to a 9-0-2 mark that included a trip to the Cotton Bowl. It remains the lone unbeaten season in academy history. Martin compiled a 96-103-9 record in his tenure, leading the 1970 squad to the Sugar Bowl.