When Casey Habluetzel won his bout, ensuring Air Force won its 19th National Collegiate Boxing Association championship, the Falcons boxers celebrated just outside the ring. Falcons coach Eddie Weichers was oblivious to it all.
When athletic director Hans Mueh came to congratulate Weichers, the coach didn’t change expression. When Mueh explained that Air Force couldn’t be passed by Navy and the team championship was clinched – after all, Weichers had shown no signs that he knew the Falcons had won it – Weichers simply told Mueh, “I know,” and focused back on the ring. He had two boxers left to fight title bouts. They both needed his full attention.
After all of the bouts, there would be time for the longtime boxing coach to celebrate, just as he had the first 18 times he brought a boxing national championship to Air Force.
“A little bit,” Weichers said after the final bout of the day. “I’ll smile now.”
Even after the bouts were done, Weichers wanted to let the boxers enjoy their accomplishment. He didn’t want to get in the ring to join everyone else for a team photo with the first place trophy. He was eventually persuaded to join them, after initially waving them off.
Although Weichers has been Air Force’s boxing coach since 1976 and has the full respect of the academy’s administration and athletic department as a stellar coach, he never takes the credit.
“They sacrificed their year, their spring break – we were here training twice a day over spring break while everyone else is out having fun,” Weichers said. “This group of seniors were great. Mike McLain and Tyrus Korecki led us, and all we did was follow them down the road.”
Weichers credited the Air Force administration for pushing to host the event, and also gave credit to Navy and Army, which finished second and third. Anything to avoid drawing attention to his own role in the championship.
“We’re happy, but also very respectful of everyone in this tournament,” Weichers said.