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Colorado Springs Ready to Kick Off Football Season

5 Jul, 2019


The Colorado Springs Sports Corp will present its annual Football Kickoff Luncheon on Thursday, July 11, at The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel, in the city's downtown with kickoff at 12:00 noon.

Fans can make plans now to attend the event and hear from an outstanding group of college coaches and their team's prospects for 2019, recruiting news, and everything they want to know about their favorite team in Colorado's Front Range Football.

Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun will be the headliner for the annual grid gathering presented by the Sports Corp and sponsored by The Denver Broncos, City of Colorado Springs, El Pomar Foundation, UCHealth, Swire Coca-Cola, USA, and The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel.

Troy Calhoun is in his 13th season as head coach at Air Force where he has an 87-67 overall record and a 52-43 mark in Mountain West play. He has led Air Force to nine bowl games, including a school-record six straight from 2007-12. Calhoun led the program to a 10-3 mark in 2016, just the seventh 10-win season in school history. Air Force won the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for a record 20th time and won a bowl game for the second time in three seasons. He led the Falcons to an 8-6 overall record in 2015 and the Mountain Division championship and first-ever MW title game appearance. The Falcons were 6-2 in conference play.

Calhoun is the only coach in the 100-plus year history of service academy football to lead teams to at least seven wins and a bowl game in each of his first five seasons. Calhoun has twice been semifinalist for the National Coach of the Year award for his efforts on and off the field (2007, 2010).

Also on hand to tell the fans about their upcoming season will be:

John Jancek is in his second season as the defensive coordinator at Colorado State in 2019. He is a veteran of 28 seasons of collegiate coaching, including nine seasons as an FBS defensive coordinator. In his first season at CSU Jancek's defense was led by senior linebacker Josh Watson, who earned second-team All-Mountain West honors with a career-best 131 tackles to finish his prolific career ranked sixth all-time at CSU. At the other end of the spectrum, Jancek's defense featured an influx of youth with true freshman cornerback Rashad Ajayi starting all 12 games and true freshman defensive lineman Devin Phillips starting the first 10 before a season-ending injury. In all, five true freshmen on defense combined to start 25 games for the Rams. Jancek has served as defensive coordinator at seven schools in his career, including four different FBS programs. He most recently held the title at Tennessee from 2013-15. Prior to that, he was the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati (2010-13), Georgia (2009), Central Michigan (2004-05), Grand Valley State (2000-2003), Hillsdale College (1996-99) and Wayne State (1992-95).

The 2018 FootballScoop NCAA Division II Coordinator of the Year, Donnell Leomiti is set for his 12th overall season and third year as the CSU-Pueblo Defensive Coordinator. He has been the program's defensive backs coach since the program restarted in 2008 and in 2017 took the role of co-defensive coordinator before gaining the full reins of the defense in 2018. He was also the recruiting coordinator his first 10 seasons. Prior to arriving at CSU-Pueblo, Leomiti had been the defensive technical intern at CU in 2005 and 2006. Leomiti arrived at CU after serving as a high school assistant coach from 1999-2004. He spent 1999 and 2000 at Denver North High School, and then followed that up with a four-year stint as linebackers coach at Boulder High School. As a CU player, Leomiti was a member of many great teams in the mid-1990s. Starting out as a receiver at CU, he saw action in 11 games, including the Fiesta Bowl, as a true freshman in 1992. Two of his biggest plays came his junior year (1994): he returned an interception for a touchdown at Missouri and had a key fumble recovery in the fourth quarter at Michigan, a big play in the game now referred to as both "The Miracle in Michigan" (a 26-21 Buff win) and "The Catch."

Special Guest

CSU-Pueblo running back Austin Micci, a Coronado High product, was an All-RMAC Honorable Mention selection in 2018 after leading the team in all-purpose yards with 1,129 for an 86.8 yards per game average. He guided the squad with 127 carries and was second on the team with 873 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Micci's averaged 6.9 yards per carry, while his 7.3 yards per attempt at the end of the regular season ranked sixth in NCAA Division II. He averaged 67.2 yards per game and recorded a season-long run of 80 yards. Micci also excelled in the classroom and was named a Google Cloud Academic All-America First Team and Google Cloud Academic All-District selection. He was also honored as Academic All-RMAC First Team and NFFCC Academic First Team.

Ticket Information

Site
The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel
4 S. Cascade Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Time
11:30 am - Doors Open/Food Service Begins
12:00 - 1:15 pm - Program

Cost
$300 / Table for 10 

(Sports Corp Member, Booster Club Members of participating schools,or NGB)
$350 / Table for 10 (All others)
$30 / Individual 
(Sports Corp Member, Booster Club Members of participating schools, or NGB)
$35 / Individual (All others)

For more information or to register, contact Lisa Guhl, 719.634.7333 ext. 1005, rsvp@thesportscorp.org

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