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Former NFL players Nick Jones and Chip Vaughn join Air Force's staff as assistants

February 9, 2018 Updated: February 10, 2018 at 7:27 am
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Nick Jones (left) will join Air Force as tight ends coach, while Chip Vaughn (right) will coach defensive backs.

Air Force has hired a pair of assistants with NFL playing experience to fill half of the four openings on its staff.

Nick Jones, a Georgia graduate who spent time with the Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants and Detroit Lions before spending six seasons coaching with Coastal Carolina, has been added as tight ends coach, according to his Twitter profile.

Chip Vaughn, most recently the secondary coach at Fayetteville State, has come aboard as defensive backs coach, according to a tweet from DEC Management.

Jones replaces Bart Miller, who joined Frank Solich’s staff as offensive line coach at Ohio. Vaughn will take over the position coached by former defensive coordinator Steve Russ, who left to coach linebackers with the Carolina Panthers.

The connection between Vaughn and Russ doesn’t stop there. Russ was one of several coaches with Air Force ties on staff at Wake Forest when Vaughn played safety in college before being taken by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL draft. He spent his rookie season on injured reserve but received a Super Bowl XLIV ring before logging stints with the Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers.

Air Force offensive line coach Steed Lobotzke was the offensive coordinator at Wake Forest while Vaughn as a first-team all-ACC selection. Air Force graduate Brian Knorr was also on staff, and the head coach was Jim Grobe, a former 10-year Falcons assistant under Fisher DeBerry who later hired Troy Calhoun on his staff at Ohio and Wake Forest.

Vaughn played one year of high school football at Rampart in Colorado Springs before moving to Fairfax, Va.

Jones, a four-year letter-winner as a center at Georgia, coached special teams in addition to tight ends at Coastal Carolina.

Air Force has two openings on defense, including the coordinator spot.

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