Troy Calhoun is tired of coaching in a conference full of Mormons.

Many Mormons of college age, you see, go on two-year missions; or as Calhoun calls them, the “two-year redshirt program.” That’s because this missionary work consists primarily of eating bowls of steroids and hitting the weightroom for 8 hours a day to turn these Mormon youths into 24-year-old man-beasts with a thirst for Air Force cadet blood (right?). So when Calhoun’s Air Force team is about to face a team from Utah, well, he just has to let the world know what kind of a disadvantage he’s facing.

Troy’s a pretty bright guy, though. He’s all about finding solutions to the tough problems, and this is no exception. His answer? Air Force should be able to redshirt players, too!


It’s time people stopped buying into Troy Calhoun’s act. That’s exactly what it is, by the way. It’s all for show. Every single press conference he has, he finds some way to inject something about “gee golly service and country blah blah” or some pseudo-intellectual nonsense, and it’s so over-the-top that it’s sickening. Just try reading the first two paragraphs of his official bio without having dry heaves. Air Force is playing on Boise’s blue turf? Well gosh tootin’ they’re gonna have to fly over all kinds of colors someday. Sweet comparison, coach. The BCS is unfair, so let’s talk about the days of the “old Soviet Presidium.” Oh he’s so smart! And when Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen goes on a postgame tirade, noted constitutional scholar Troy Calhoun decides it’s time to reflect on the First Amendment. Seriously? How condescending can you be? Who talks like that? Someone looking to avoid the tough questions, that’s who.

And that’s the act. By being so over-the-top with his Howdy Doody facade of courage and the Constitution and whatever other patriotic buzzword you can think of, nobody bothers to question him. Look elsewhere for your stories, nosy media, because Troy Calhoun is an American patriot. There’s nothing to see here. If Dave Christensen goes on a rant because he thought Calhoun had one of his players fake an injury, don’t bother wondering if Christensen might have had a point. Dodging the media after a tough loss and saying it was all about “academics?” You don’t want to appear to be anti-academics, do you? So when Calhoun says he wants redshirts and wants his players to be able to turn pro, don’t bother asking how someone who spent 4 of his 6 years on active duty as a football coach could have the all-out gall to pretend that it’s for the good of the service.

Fortunately, there is one person willing to take Troy Calhoun to task for his comments: Troy Calhoun. Of course, the “no excuses” Troy that threw his fellow Air Force coaches under the bus was 2-1 and just finished taking Oklahoma to the wire. NuTroy is 1-2 and coming off of his first losing season. I guess now that he’s having his own problems, he’s more sympathetic to their plight. Imagine that. Then again, by saying he wants redshirts he might as well stand in his own locker room and say “I can’t win with you guys.”

Winning is hard, and coaching is a high-pressure job. It’s completely understandable that any coach would want whatever edge he could get. At the very least you’d hope for a level playing field. The challenge of service academy football, and the very thing that makes it special, is that you aren’t going to get one. There are some lines that cannot be crossed. Anyone that truly cares about service– or the future careers of service academy athletes– would understand that.


  1. Maybe instead of trying to completely alter the fabric of a service academy, he should look at firing on of the eleven air force grads on his staff. Because at some point you have to start thinking maybe, just maybe, it’s not all the players’ fault.

  2. JimBear

    His problem has been USAF Prep attrition the last few years. He landed some really good classes but has lost a lot of them. He’s always been a bellyacher and a whiner..

    1. Witt

      There was a thread about this by a zoomie prep parent. However his thinking wasn’t aligned with their cult & thus the topic was shut down vice discussing the merits or lack thereof.

    2. witt94

      Generally speaking I would agree with taking parents with a grain of salt. But this one was saying only 4 of 60+ prep players remained by their senior year, gave stories of what the coaches were saying to players. All I’m saying is that, like the Wyoming coach, this parent had some stats and maybe a point, not just gripes.

  3. TJ

    Nobody ever asks him the follow-on question, maybe because his tangents and obfuscation leaves everyone thoroughly confused, or maybe because it would ruin the easy storyline. But the follow-on question I have for him is, what is AFA doing so wrong that FOUR YEARS of character and leadership development just isn’t quite enough to put out a quality product, such that an additional semester is required to commission a minimally-serviceable officer? What is Air Force OTS (OCS) doing so right that they can do in 10 weeks what Troy Calhoun can’t do in 4 years? Because that should be the real concern Troy, if this really is just about officer development and not football.

  4. Newt91

    “There are some lines that cannot be crossed. Anyone that truly cares about service– or the future careers of service academy athletes– would understand that.”
    And the there in lies the rub. Not at military careers are equal, and serving in an operational role is very different from serving as a coach. If TC wants to have a dialogue about the role of the prep school and red shirting then I’m ok with that. But let’s put everything on the table.

  5. Edgar

    That two year Mormon mission redshirt program is so powerful and enabling of on-field dominance that it probably explains why Charlie Weatherbie was able to lead Utah State to their first winning season in two decades back in ’93… (Before Weatherbie bolted for greener pastures at a program with less restrictions… right?)

    I sincerely hope that the folks who tell Troy Calhoun to shut up are spending a lot of time at Ricketts Hall. And by “tell” I mean “demonstrate with actions, not words.”

    Troy’s ridiculous press conferences will end if we string together the kind of winning streak that helped Fischer DeBerry decide it was time for retirement. And I’ll take a Troy Calhoun-led Air Force team over a Fischer DeBerry-led Air Force team any day of the week.

    Want more evidence of the Calhoun gospel’s reach? Check out the Air Force Academy football’s team’s wikipedia page and compare it to ours.

    1. Navy72

      “… if we string together wining streak…” What? Where you been, Edgar? Navy beats AF and wins 7 straight CICs – ’03 thru ’09 and wins in ’12. Navy is the ONLY Service Academy to accomplish that feat. Don’t get your point

  6. Edgar

    And Calhoun won a pair back-to-back. He’s 2-4 against Navy, but he’s won 2 of the last 3. Navy beats him 3 or 4 times in a row and that number turns into 2-7, I don’t Troy Calhoun will have gainful employment in Colorado Springs.

  7. Andrew

    I clicked on the highlighted link of “patriotic buzzword” in the article. I those uniforms that Air Force unvieled in 2010. They sucked so bad. It was like the Harlem Globetrotter’s came out with a football team. Patriotic words instead of last names…..we get the point but it’s so cheesy. Army one year with “Boots on the Ground” across their thighs. Mo-tard stuff!

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