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Assistant football coach Brian Knorr returning to Air Force, which has a defensive coordinator opening

March 15, 2018 Updated: March 15, 2018 at 8:28 pm
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Air Force’s clouded defensive coaching staff situation began to clear a bit this week with the – presumptive – return of Brian Knorr.

The Falcons haven’t announced what role the 1986 academy grad will fill or even officially acknowledged his hire, but all indications are that he’s back on staff as he coached at practices this week and updated his Twitter profile picture to a photo of the Air Force practice field.

“We’ll see,” is all coach Troy Calhoun would say when asked about Knorr.

Knorr’s résumé speaks for itself. He has coordinated defenses at Ohio – where he worked with Calhoun and a host of others with Air Force ties – and has since run the defenses at Power Five programs Wake Forest (from 2011-13) and Indiana (2014-15). He most recently served as Arizona’s special teams coordinator in 2017.

He was also a quality control coach under Urban Meyer at Ohio State in 2016.

The role, when it becomes official, will be Knorr’s third stint with Air Force. There was almost another following the 2013 season, but Knorr left for Indiana before officially being announced The Gazette learned at the time.

For a team with an opening at defensive coordinator following Steve Russ’ departure, Knorr’s arrival could explain why the team has been waiting to announce the new staff assignments as it knew he was en route to take the reins. Another possibility is that with Knorr joining a veteran defensive staff that includes longtime position coaches Tim Cross, Ron Vanderlinden and Matt Weikert, it could present the perfect collection of mentors to transition someone like defensive backs coach John Rudzinski into the coordinator role.

Either situation would make sense and, ultimately, keep an academy grad in a coordinator position. That has been a staple of Calhoun’s staffs in his 11 seasons.

Air Force coaches have been running the defense by committee thus far in spring, according to Calhoun and Rudzinski. In scrimmages they enter knowing they’ll go through a list of defensive looks, and coaches will just work off that checklist when sending in the calls.

 

Brian Knorr coaching history

Former Air Force quarterback Brian Knorr graduated from Air Force in 1986 and served five years on active duty before embarking on a coaching career that has spanned 25 seasons.

2017

Arizona, special teams coordinator

2016

Ohio State, quality control (kicking)

2014-15

Indiana, defensive coordinator (DE/OLBs)

2013

Wake Forest, defensive coordinator (OLB)

2012

Wake Forest, defensive coordinator (ILB)

2011

Wake Forest, co-defensive coordinator (ILB)

2008-10

Wake Forest, wide receivers

2007

Air Force, assistant head coach/inside linebackers

2005-06

Air Force, outside linebackers/strong safeties

2001-04

Ohio, head coach

1999-00

Ohio, defensive coordinator (ILB)

1995-98

Ohio, inside linebackers

1992-94

Air Force, JV/varsity assistant

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