The Air Force-Fresno State games, when the Bulldogs enter the Mountain West next season, will be a little more interesting.
Tim DeRuyter, former Air Force player and the defensive coordinator on Troy Calhoun’s first three Falcons teams, was hired to be Fresno State’s head coach. DeRuyter left Air Force after the 2009 season to be defensive coordinator at Texas A&M, and his hiring at Fresno State comes at a good time. Texas A&M fired head coach Mike Sherman, and DeRuyter – who was named interim coach for the Aggies’ bowl game – was not a candidate for the permanent head coaching job and couldn’t be sure he’d be asked back to run the defense.
Instead, DeRuyter gets to live out a dream, which was to be a college head coach. That’s a major reason he left Air Force to Texas A&M, figuring it was the next step to running his own program.
“My vision and plan is for a championship Fresno State football program,” DeRuyter told AggieSports.com. “We will build student-athletes into champions, both on and off the field. Fresno State is where I can live out my dream of building a team that can accomplish this. Along with that, I want to help fulfill the dreams of the Red Wave by winning conference championships and becoming a player once again on the national stage.”
Fresno State and DeRuyter coincidentally will be joining the Mountain West next season, and will square off against Air Force and Calhoun.
“I was delighted the hear that Fresno State has selected Tim DeRuyter as their new head coach,” Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh said in a statement. “I have the utmost respect and appreciation for Tim’s leadership and ability. It was difficult to see him leave Air Force after the tremendous impact he had on our program, but our loss was certainly Texas A&M’s and Fresno State’s gain. He brings a level of integrity to the game and to the NCAA that is sorely needed at this stage of the country’s athletic history.
“I wish him continued success in every game except Air Force vs Fresno State! I’m very proud of all Tim has accomplished and know that he will bring Fresno State to new levels of excellence in football.”