Published: May 17, 2014
Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh has long indicated that his current contract would be his last, and nothing that transpired over the last year has changed his mind.
In fact, quite to the contrary.
"I'll be honest with you, last year was tough," said Mueh, whose contract will expire June 30, 2015. "It was tough to take with the sequestration, the furloughs, cancelling events, rescheduling events, going to Navy without a full complement of help for the team, all of that. Everything really wore on me, and I thought, 'It's been a great run, but I think it's time to turn this over to somebody else after next year.'"
To that list could also be added budget cuts that forced Mueh to decide between eliminating sports or making department-wide cuts. He opted for the cuts and is in the process of helping 21 coaches and support staff find work elsewhere.
The football team also suffered through its first 10-loss season.
A successful spring has taken a bit of the sting away. The lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA Tournament, the baseball team has won 20 games for the first time since 2002 and there have been individual conference champions in outdoor track and field.
"It's been a great spring," Mueh said. "I've been very pleased with the performance from everyone this spring. They've represented us well."
But it hasn't been enough to persuade Mueh, 70, to stay for more than one more year.
"That just seems like the right time," Mueh said. "Everybody knows when it's time and I think that will be my right time."
An Air Force graduate and former head of the chemistry department prior to taking over as athletic director in 2004, Mueh doesn't plan to stray too far from Colorado Springs. His children and grandchildren all live in Colorado and, though he and his wife, Sally, expect to see their second home in Scottsdale, Ariz., with greater frequency, they plans to keep this area as their primary residence in retirement.
"This is home," Mueh said. "I'm not sure I could get too far from the Air Force Academy. It's been my whole life. I can't imagine not going to the athletic events, even when I retire. But it will be nice to go just as a spectator."