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Air Force hasn't publicly named a defensive coordinator and Troy Calhoun won't say why

Air Force Falcons head coach Troy Calhoun in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

It’s understandable that the United States Air Force would want to be secretive about some military matters. Football is not a military matter. So it’s a bit perplexing that Air Force coach Troy Calhoun is being so coy when it comes to the public identity of one of his most important assistant coaches.

As the 2018 season is less than two months away, Calhoun has still not revealed who his team’s defensive coordinator is. He’s not saying why he’s being so secretive either. The secret has to stay a secret, apparently.

“I’ve yet to see a law or an edict that you must” announce a coordinator

Air Force is (publicly) without a defensive coordinator after Steve Russ left for the NFL after the 2017 season.

From the Colorado Springs Gazette:

“I don’t know if it’s necessarily a delay,” Calhoun said when asked why he has opted to take an abnormally long time to announce a coordinator. “I’ve yet to see a law or an edict that says that you must.

“We’ll see as we head down the road here. I think the key is I want to make sure fundamentally we are much, much better in terms of open-field tackling, getting off blocks and the clarity of what we’re doing defensively with our scheme.”

The second paragraph makes a whole lot of sense. But what does not revealing a defensive coordinator have to do with a team’s improvement on defense? Air Force isn’t going to suddenly make less defensive strides during fall practice because the defensive coordinator’s identity is publicly known. Unless, of course, Air Force is trying a revolutionary new defensive strategy with 11 linebackers or working on coverages never before seen at the top level of college football. That would be pretty cool.

And really, really unlikely. This feels like nothing more than a dumb game from a coach who once called the four-team College Football Playoff “un-American.”

The team’s coordinator is likely on staff already

Tim Cross is the team’s defensive line coach and listed on Air Force’s site as the team’s assistant head coach. He would make some sense.

So too would Brian Knorr, according to the Gazette. Knorr has previously served as a defensive coordinator in college football and joined the team’s coaching staff in the spring. Was he a like-for-like replacement for Russ that no one knows about?

We’ll find out at some point, even if it’s during the first game of the season. Air Force starts the 2018 campaign against Stony Brook on Sept. 1. The defense better have a good showing.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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