2009 Fall Alumni Weekend

Birds, I hope this letter finds you and your families well.  I want to start this letter with a sincere thank you and best of luck to Coach Marty Buckley.  For those of you that have not heard, after 23 great years, Buck has announced his retirement from coaching at the Air Force Academy.   Larry Friend (85), Buck’s longtime assistant takes over the program and is very excited about the upcoming season.

What can I say…Another fantastic Alumni weekend in the books.  There was some spectacular soccer played and from what I saw (from the press box of course) the Birds should show great improvement this fall.  They thoroughly trounced the Alumni with senior striker Steve Noller bagging a couple sweet goals.  Awards from the weekend went to the following individuals:  The Ole’ award (top defensive performance) went to Tim Murphy (97).  Murph made several brilliant saves to keep the score from becoming a blow out.  The Silver Boot went to Chris Cullen (94).  Chris played a lot of minutes and held together the midfield for both the Alums and the Red team.  Speaking of Red they repeated as Class Colored Cup champs defeating a very skilled and under-manned Gold side.  The coveted Powder Blue was once again a controversial choice but worthy nonetheless.  Dan Walsh (04) won a split decision over Brandon Jones (02).  Dan wore the uniform proudly out on the town Saturday night and we are still waiting for Marcus Sagastume to post the video on our Alumni website.  Congrats to this year’s award winners and losers!  The weather was awful on Saturday but broke up nicely for golf on Sunday morning.  The weekend turnout was great and a million thanks to the Men and women’s staffs for helping us put together another successful Alumni Weekend.

So again we anxiously await another year until the birds rejoin and reminisce about their glory days…

But wait…We’ve got some great news! As you all know, our Alumni Association is second to none here at the AFA.  We’ve had tremendous turnouts over the years.  Many of you treat Alumni Weekend as the biggest holiday of the year (even more so than Christmas or your kids’ birthdays!).  Words cannot do justice to the great time we have; from the first day at the kick-around and the final day on the golf course with the ball toss.

This past May a few of you had mentioned the possibility of having Alumni Weekend in the fall.  As the idea spread amongst the Alumn, it became apparent that we consider this option.  Coach Hill, Ole Olson, Greg Walsh and I discussed this possibility.  We decided it would be a great idea to hold a FALL Alumni Weekend; not as replacement to our traditional Spring Alumni Weekend but as an addition, so that the birds can reunite twice during the year and support the birds during their Fall season.

So that being said, we are having our inaugural FALL ALUMNI WEEKEEND 2009 from 18-20 Sep.  For this inaugural event, we want to honor Coach Buck for his 23 years of dedicated service to both the men’s and women’s programs.  Below is the tentative schedule of events:

Fall Alumni Weekend 2009 Friday, 18 Sep 1500    Kick Around 1700    Tailgate at Soccer Stadium to honor Coach Buck and to support Larry Friend as the new head coach! 1900    AFA vs. Cal Poly (Women’s Varsity) 2100   Restaurant (TBD) Saturday, 19 Sep 1000    Golf 1600    Tailgate at Soccer Stadium 1900    AFA vs. Army (Men’s Varsity) 2100    Celebrate Win! (Location TBD) Sunday, 20 Sep 0800    Golf Tourney 1300    Ball Toss

This schedule is subject to change, so please email me your inputs for this weekend.

I’m also pleased to announce that we are going to expand our gear purchasing for the fall weekend.  Brandon Jones is working with the folks at Nike to get authentic Nike apparel that is available to the team for us to purchase at cost.  We hope to have all of the choices available for order by the end of July.  More news about gear to come from Brandon in the upcoming days.

I look forward to seeing many of you this fall.  The Army game 2 years ago was packed.  Additionally Doug Hill is going to make this weekend their primary recruiting weekend.  What a great opportunity for these young men to meet the Birds of the past.  With just over 2 months until this weekend we will give weekly updates about the itinerary and other logistics.  Go Birds!

Pat McKenna (87) El Presidente mas guapo y gordo