2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Falcons give football coaching staff a shakeup

Published: February 18, 2014, 4:18 pm, by Brent Briggeman

Titles and responsibilities received a thorough makeover as Air Force released its new coaching roster in advance of the beginning of spring practice.

Mike Thiessen will take over as the sole offensive coordinator – a position he split with three others last year – and Steve Russ will be the defensive coordinator.

The major positions shifts include Matt Weikert from defensive line to outside linebackers, Russ from inside linebackers to defensive backs and John Rudzinski from outside linebackers to secondary.

Newly hired veteran coaches Tim Cross and Ron Vanderlinden were given their spots on the defense, with Cross coaching the line and Vanderlinden the inside linebackers.

The Falcons also brought aboard Capt. Drew Fowler as an assistant linebackers coach. Fowler is a 2008 Air Force graduate who was twice voted the team’s defensive MVP and led the Mountain West in tackles as a junior.



Air Force football coaching staff (last year’s title/role is listed in parenthesis if there was a change)

Troy Calhoun, head coach



Mike Thiessen, offensive coordinator/wide receivers (Assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/wide receivers; *-denotes newcomer)

Clay Hendrix, associate head coach/offensive line (associate head coach/offensive coordinator/offensive line)

Jake Campbell, assistant backfield

Ben Miller, special teams coordinator/running backs

Jake Moreland, tight ends

Blane Morgan, quarterbacks (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)



Steve Russ, assistant head coach/defensive coordinator/defensive backs (assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator/inside linebackers)

*Tim Cross, defensive line

*Capt. Drew Fowler, assistant linebackers

Lt. Col. Steve Pipes, assistant defensive line (JV head coach/varsity assistant)

John Rudzinski, recruiting coordinator/secondary (recruiting coordinator/outside linebackers)

*Ron Vanderlinden, inside linebackers

Matt Weikert, outside linebackers (defensive line)



Steve Senn, executive assistant/quality control

Matt McGettigan, Strength and Conditioning