Converse, Knaute Among Ninth Air Force Athletics Hall of Fame Class

by SwimSwam 0

May 27th, 2022 College, News

Courtesy: Air Force Athletics

Air Force athletics announced its ninth class for induction into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. The class of former swimming coach Casey Converse, former track and field coach Ralph Lindeman, who recently passed away, men’s swimming All-American Chris Knaute, hockey All-American Jacques Lamoureux, All-American football player Beau Morgan and multiple All-America honoree Sara Neubauer in women’s track and field will be honored Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort. The ceremony was shifted from its original Friday date due to the Air Force football game vs. Nevada moving to that day.

Converse is the winningest swimming coach in Academy history with a 305-202-2 record in 29 years as men’s and women’s coach. He led the women’s program to back-to-back national championships in 1995 and 1996. The women’s program was 73-21 from 1989-96 with five conference titles before moving to the Division I rank in 1997. He guided 32 athletes to All-America honors a total of 178 times. Air Force had 13 individual and four relay national championships during his tenure. The Falcons had 12 swimmers win conference titles and the Division I level. Genevieve Miller became the first service academy female swimmer to ever score at the NCAA Division I championships in 2016. Converse coached both teams from 1988-97 and then the women’s program from 1997 until his retirement in 2017.

Lindeman was in his 33rd season as head coach of Air Force track and field this season before his passing in March. Under his direction, the Air Force men’s track and field team has become the most decorated intercollegiate program in Academy history. Air Force has claimed 10 Mountain West team titles and finished within the top-three of the conference standings 35 times in 42 championship meets. Since his arrival at the Academy, the track and field team has combined for 31 Western Athletic Conference titles (27 individual events, four relays) and 178 Mountain West titles (161 individual events, 17 relays). Lindeman-coached teams have produced three NCAA champions, including Callie Calhoun – who earned five Division II titles during her career, Dana Pounds – who collected back-to-back titles in the javelin, and Mahala Norris – who became the Academy’s first female DI champion in a running event with the 2021 title in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Backed by 12 additional top-three finishes and 15 more placements within the top five, Lindeman has seen his athletes account for 89 All-America awards at the NCAA Track and Field Championships. He earned conference coach of the year honors 17 times and was a seven-time U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association mountain region coach of the year.

Knaute, a 2007 Academy graduate, still holds school records in four events (200 free, 500 free, 1650 free and 400 IM) and is a conference record holder in two events (500 free, 400 IM). He was a two-time All-American, nine-time Mountain West champion and two-time Mountain West Swimmer of the Year award winner. Knaute is still the only four-time team most valuable player in addition to winning two of the Academy’s top six athletic honors, winning the Outstanding Athletic Achivement award in 2006 and Athletic Excellence award in 2007. He earned the Mountain West’s Senior Recognition Award in 2007 and was later named to the 10th anniversary team. Knaute also participated in the 2005 U.S. World Championship trials and the 2008 Olympic trials.

Lamoureux, a 2011 Academy graduate, was a first-team All-America selection in 2009 and one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, which goes to the nation’s top player. Lamoureux led the nation in goals with 33 and helped the Falcons to a program-best 28 wins and a trip to the NCAA tournament Elite Eight. He scored the game-winning goal in the Atlantic Hockey championship game and in the upset win over third-ranked Michigan in Air Force’s first NCAA tournament win ever. Lamoureux was named to the all-tournament team in the NCAA East Regional and became the first Falcon to ever win the prestigious Senior Class Award for ice hockey for excellence in the classroom, ice and community. He was also the Air Force male most valuable player in 2009 and 2011.

Morgan, a 1997 Academy graduate, earned third-team All-American honors in 1996 while becoming the first player in NCAA history to record back-to-back seasons with 1,000 yards rushing and passing. He earned Western Athletic Conference offensive player of the year honors in 1996 and was a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback. He is still the school record holder for career touchdowns with 42 and finished 10th in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1996, the third-highest finish ever for a Falcon. Morgan helped the Falcons to a WAC co-championship in 1995, just the second in program history.

Neubauer, a 2010 Academy graduate, earned All-America honors three times and is the only female to earn multiple All-America honors in the same meet in one year, earning the honor for the shot put and discus in 2009. She is a four-time Mountain West champion and 12-time all-conference selection. Neubauer earned U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Regional Outdoor Female Athlete of the Year honors in 2010. She earned three team most valuable player awards and was a two-time team captain. Neubauer holds all four class records in the shot put, plus the record for a junior and senior in the hammer and the junior record in the discus.

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

Otis Jones, class of 1995, Men’s Basketball, first three-time first-team all-conference honoree, 2000-point scorer.
Terry Maki, class of 1987, Football, First-team All-American in football and two-time NCAA qualifier in wrestling.
Robin Orth, class of 1996, Rifle, Eight-time All-American and three-time team most valuable player.
Laura Simmons-Bergstrom, class of 1994, Women’s Tennis, 1991 NCAA National Singles Champion.
Randy Spetman, class of 1976, Athletics Administration, Director of Athletics from 1996-2003.
2004 Men’s Basketball Team, 2004 Mountain West champions, first NCAA tournament for program in 42 years.

Casey Converse, coach, Swimming, led Air Force to back-to-back NCAA titles in women’s swimming in 1995-96
Ralph Lindeman, coach, Track and Field, 10-time MW champion, coached 178 MW individual champions.
Chris Knaute, class of 2007, Men’s Swimming, two-time All-American and nine-time Mountain West champion.
Jacques Lamoureux, class of 2011, Hockey, first-team All-American, Hobey Baker Award finalist.
Beau Morgan, class of 1997, Football, first player in NCAA history with back-to-back 1,000-1,000 seasons.
Sara Neubauer, class of 2010, Women’s Track and Field, three-time All-American, four-time MW champion.

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