Gregg Popovich headlines seventh Air Force Hall of Fame Class

Posted at 8:00 PM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 23:07:42-05

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Air Force athletics announced its seventh class for induction into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. The class of volleyball standout and Rhodes Scholar Delavane Diaz, hockey All-American Eric Ehn, football All-American Chris Gizzi, San Antonio Spurs president and head coach Gregg Popovich, legendary wrestling coach Wayne Baughman and the 1985 Western Athletic Conference champion football team will honored Saturday, May 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Arnold Hall Ballroom.

Baughman served two stints as head coach of the Falcons, from 1974-84 and 1988-2006. He produced a record of 183-134-4 in 27 seasons and led the Falcons to the 1991 WAC championship. Baughman coached 16 individual WAC champions and seven Western Regional champions while earning Colorado collegiate coach of the year honors five times. Baughman coached four NCAA All-Americans, two Olympic teams (1976, 1980), five World Championship teams and one Pan-American team. He is a member of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, USA Wrestling Hall of Fame, Helms United Savings Hall of Fame and the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame (2012).

Diaz, a 2004 Academy graduate, was the school’s most valuable female athlete in 2004 and a three-time team most valuable player. She was a cadet wing commander and was a Rhodes Scholar. In addition, she was the Academy’s cadet of the year, an Academic All-American and the Sportswoman of Colorado Swede Johnson Award winner as a senior. She is the all-time single match record holder in kills with 41 and is the program’s Division I record holder with a 4.98 kills per game average.

Ehn, a 2008 Academy graduate, became the hockey program’s first-ever All-American, earning first-team honors by Inside College Hockey and U.S. College Hockey in 2007. He was second in the nation in scoring in 2007 with 64 points and was one of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists, the first service academy player to ever earn the honor. Ehn was a two-time team MVP and led the team to its first-ever Atlantic Hockey championship and NCAA tournament appearance.

Gizzi, a 1997 Academy graduate, was a disruptive force on the gridiron, earning All-American honors in 1997. He was a two-time Western Athletic Conference defensive player of the year and was selected to play in both the Hula Bowl and East-West Shrine game following his senior season. Gizzi led the WAC in total tackles as a senior with 179, collecting double figures in every game. He played professionally for the Green Bay Packers.

Popovich is a 1970 graduate of the Academy and has sustained remarkable success in the National Basketball Association as president and head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. He has led the franchise to five NBA championships. Popovich was a two-year lettermen and served as team captain of the Falcons in 1970 and later returned as an assistant coach for six seasons. He ranks third in school history in career field goal percentage with a 54.1 mark. Popovich was named a distinguished graduate by the Academy in 2008 and earned the Daily Point of Light Award for the Spurs’ Drug Free Basketball league from President of the United States George H. W. Bush in 1992.

The 1985 football team was coached by hall of famer Fisher DeBerry and finished the season with a school-record 12 wins, going 12-1 overall and winning the school’s first WAC championship in any sport. The team tied the school record for consecutive weeks nationally ranked with 10 and reached as high as No. 4. The Falcons defeated Notre Dame, 21-15, to notch the fourth straight win over the Irish and defeated Texas, 24-16, in the Bluebonnet Bowl. The team’s senior class posted a school-record 38 wins over four years. The team featured two players, Chad Hennings and Scott Thomas, and one coach, DeBerry, who are members of the College Football Hall of Fame.



Alonzo Babers, class of 1983, Track, 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist, All-American in 1983

Bob Beckel, class of 1959, Men’s Basketball, 1959 Helms All-American

John Clune, Athletics Administration, Director of Athletics, 1975-91

Chad Hennings, class of 1988, Football, 1987 consensus football All-American and Outland Trophy winner

Michelle Johnson, class of 1981, Women’s Basketball, 1995 CoSIDA Academic All-American

Brock Strom, class of 1959, Football, 1958 consensus All-American


Jim Bowman, Athletic Administration, former coach and administrator, 1958-2007

Callie Calhoun (Molloy), class of 1991, Track/Cross Country, multi All-American and national champion

Dee Dowis, class of 1990, Football, 1989 Heisman Trophy finalist

Ernie Jennings, class of 1971, Football, 1970 consensus football All-American

Terry Isaacson, class of 1964, Wrestling/Football, three-time wrestling All-American

Ben Martin, Coach, head football coach, 1958-77


Jim Conboy, Athletic Administration, head athletic trainer, 1955-98

Gail Conway (Gray), class of 1984, Track, two-time national champion

Chuck Delich, class of 1977, Ice Hockey, school’s all-time leading scorer

Bob Nieman, class of 1970, Swimming, two-time All-American

Scott Thomas, class of 1986, Football, consensus All-American in 1985


Karen Burton (Reeder), class of 1984, Swimming, 16-time NCAA Division II All-American

Fisher DeBerry, Coach, Head Football Coach, 1984-06, winningest in school history

Parker Hinman, class of 1964, Basketball, Football, Baseball and Track, first four-sport letterman at the Academy

Eric Mack, class of 1996, Track, six-time conference champion and three-time All-American

Patty Martinez (Gillette), class of 1983, Swimming, six-time NCAA Division II individual national champion

Carlton McDonald, class of 1993, Football, consensus All-American in 1992 and Thorpe Award runner-up


Maiya Anderson, class of 1997, Swimming, 12-time NCAA Division II All-American

Raymond Dudley, class of 1990, Men’s basketball, all-time leading scorer in program history

Gene Miranda, Coach, Men’s golf, all-time winningest coach in program history

Dana Pounds, class of 2004, Track, two-time national champion in the javelin

Bob Spear, Coach, men’s basketball, led program to two NCAA tournaments and most wins in program history

Bart Weiss, class of 1986, Football, conference offensive player of the year, runner up for Davey O’Brien award

1958 Football Team, posted only undefeated season at 9-0-2 in program history and earned Cotton Bowl berth


Rich Gugat, Coach, Men’s Tennis, the Academy’s all-time winningest coach in all sports with 730 dual-match wins

Paul Arata, Coach, Men’s and Women’s Swimming, led programs to a combined 301-15-1 record

Mike Thiessenclass of 2001, Baseball/Football, two-time baseball All-American, football conference player of year

Jim Murphyclass of 1965, Track and Field, school’s first NCAA champion, winning the 5,000-meters in 1964

Seth Kelseyclass of 2003, Fencing, three-time Olympic team member and 2003 NCAA champion in epee

Don Hendersonclass of 1968, Wrestling, program’s only NCAA champion, winning 145-pound title in 1967

Rick McAlisterclass of 1975, Swimming and Diving, 1974 NCAA champ in 1-meter diving, four-time All-American

1995-96 Women’s Swimming and Diving Team, Won back-to-back NCAA championships in 1994-95 and 1995-96


Wayne Baughman, coach, wrestling, winningest coach in program history with 183 wins in 27 seasons

Delavane Diaz, class of 2004, Volleyball, Rhodes Scholar and USAFA female athlete of the year in 2004

Chris Gizzi, class of 1997, Football, All-American in 1997 and two-time WAC defensive player of the year

Eric Ehn, class of 2008, Hockey, the program’s first All-American and a Hobey Hat Trick finalist

Gregg Popovich, class of 1970, Basketball, five-time NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs

1985 Football Team, school-record 12 wins, WAC champions, reached No. 4 in the national polls