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Air Force coach Troy Calhoun turns focus to filling staff, bringing spring game to Falcon Stadium

February 8, 2018 Updated: February 8, 2018 at 7:47 pm
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photo - Air Force's coach Troy Calhoun is shown talking to an assistant against Fresno State during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Fresno, Calif., Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)
Air Force's coach Troy Calhoun is shown talking to an assistant against Fresno State during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Fresno, Calif., Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian) 

Air Force plans to bring its spring football game to Falcon Stadium next month.

The Falcons, who have played recent spring games at Fountain-Fort Carson High School and in Monument, have tentative plans to play the game March 17.

Firming up those logistics was one of several topics coach Troy Calhoun said he will attack with gusto now that the program’s intense recruiting process concluded – for the most part – with Wednesday’s signing day.

Calhoun will also oversee the hiring of four coaches in the coming weeks, including a new defensive coordinator.

“We’re working through that,” Calhoun said. “We’ve obviously been going at it really, really hard with recruiting. We’ll add two guys here in the next week.”

The openings on the staff were created when defensive coordinator Steve Russ left after six years on staff to coach linebackers with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Tight ends coach Bart Miller departed to coach the offensive line at Ohio, and spurts/nickels coach Nick Toth left for Central Florida. Miller and Toth were each at the academy for one season.

Air Force will also jump on the opportunity to hire an additional coach as NCAA rules will allow staffs to grow by one. Calhoun said that position will be used on the defensive side, but he said it is uncertain if it will go for a specific position coach or general defensive assistant.

John Rudzinski, who returns, had shared defensive backs responsibilities with Russ. Tim Cross returns as defensive line coach, Matt Weikert is back with outside linebackers and Ron Vanderlinden will continue to coach inside linebackers.

Calhoun would not divulge if his search for a defensive coordinator will lead to an internal replacement or if he’ll bring in someone from the outside.

Spring practice will begin Feb. 20, a date Calhoun said is firm and will not depend on the placement of any new hires.

Air Force is coming off a 5-7 season and loses five senior starters on defense and six on offense.

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