by Ralph Routon
During his four successful seasons as Air Force's head football coach, Troy Calhoun annually has had to deal with rumors that he might leave for more money and a bigger stage elsewhere.
The latest such speculation popped up Monday after the Denver Broncos fired Josh McDaniels as head coach. Since Calhoun was a highly regarded assistant for the Broncos from 2003 through 2005, his name surfaced quickly as a possible candidate to replace McDaniels.
But Calhoun wasted no time in releasing this statement today through the AFA athletic department, which clearly indicates he has no plans to go anywhere:
“The Air Force Academy has tremendous General officers and staff members who are remarkably dedicated to the development of our cadets. It's inspiring that an 18 year old kid makes a commitment to embed the necessary character traits to grow into a fine young man or woman who honorably serves for at least five years,” Calhoun said. “Our coaching staff and our families are proud to be a part of the daily lives of our nation's future officers. We certainly look forward to seeing our seniors graduate in May along with coaching the Falcons in 2011 and beyond.”
The same release included a comment from AFA athletic director Hans Mueh:
“Naturally, we are exceptionally happy that Troy is continuing his commitment to the Academy, our program and to our cadet-athletes. We love what he stands for, his leadership, passion for the Academy and the tireless work ethic he and his staff display as they prepare our cadet-athletes to be future leaders for this country.”
No, those statements didn't specifically address the Broncos or any other vacant job (Calhoun also has been mentioned as a possible candidate at Vanderbilt). But the release today sends a much clearer message than in the past.
Given that Air Force has plenty of returning players and leaders in 2011, plus another impressive group of likely freshmen cadets starting next summer, Calhoun didn't want any uncertainty to fester. Air Force currently is preparing to face Georgia Tech in the Independence Bowl at Shreveport, La., on Dec. 27.