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Inside the Headset with the AFCA

Sep 9, 2021

This week on this special edition of Inside the Headset, we are featuring the former Head Coaches of the military academies that coached during the tragedy of 9/11. These coaches include former Air Force Head Coach Fisher DeBerry, former Navy Head Coach Charlie Weatherbie, and former Army Head Coach Todd Berry. In this episode all three coaches tell their personal 9/11 stories while coaching at their military academy institution, discuss what recruiting was like post 9/11, and highlight the unique experiences of coaching at a military academy.

Todd Berry is the current Executive Director for the AFCA where he has served since 2016. Coach Berry served four years as the Head Coach for the Army Black Knights from 2000-2003 which included the 2001 9/11 season. Prior to his stint at Army, Coach Berry was the Head Coach of Illinois State from 1996-1999 where he lead the Red Birds to two FCS postseason playoff appearances. Most recently Coach Berry was the Head Coach of the Louisiana-Monroe football program where he coached from 2010-2015.

Fisher Deberry is the former Head Coach of the Air Force Falcons. Coach DeBerry coached the Falcons from 1984-2006 and achieved a great amount of on-field success during his 21 seasons at Air Force. Under Coach DeBerrys leadership, Air Force dominated the Commander-in-Chiefs series going on to win the trophy 14 times. In addition to that, Coach DeBerrys Air Force teams won three conference titles and also went to numerous postseason bowl games where they won a total of six during his tenure. Due to Coach DeBerry's historic career where he won six coach of the year awards, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

Charlie Weatherbie is the former Head Coach of the Navy Midshipmen. Coach Weatherbie spent seven seasons (1995-2001) at Navy where he lead the Midshipmen to one bowl win. Prior to Navy, Coach Weatherbie spent three seasons as the Utah State Head Coach where he won a conference championship in 1993. Coach Weatherbie's last head coaching spot was at the University of Louisiana-Monroe where he coach from 2003-2009. During his time at Louisiana-Monroe Coach Weatherbie lead the Warhawks to a conference championship in 2005. Coach Weatherbie is currently the director of the First Baptist Orlando Love Orlando Initiative, which distributes funds in the greater Orlando, Florida area to prevent homelessness.

  • [1:16] Start of Interview
  • [2:35] Life at West Point on 9/11
  • [3:59] Message to players on 9/11
  • [8:05] Managing adversity on and off the field
  • [13:52] Recruiting post 9/11
  • [22:24] Playing for the Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy
  • [27:24] Experience coaching at multiple Academy Institutions
  • [29:38] Closing thoughts on the 9/11 Anniversary