Sports - Air Force

Feb 8, 2011 1:04 AM

Falcons hire new running backs coach

U.S.A.F. Academy, Colo. - Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun announced Monday that Desmond "Des" Kitchings has agreed to become the running game coordinator/running backs coach for the Falcons. Kitchings' contract is still being worked and must go through the Academy process.

"Des, Heather and their kids will be a great addition to the Academy," Calhoun said. "Des is a very talented football coach who brings some fine experience - as both and player and coach - to our staff. He will do a super job of helping our guys grow into leaders of character."

Kitchings comes to the Academy from Vanderbilt, where he served as running backs coach from 2008-10 and offensive coordinator in 2010. Kitchings was also the program's running game coordinator and co-special teams coordinator while on the Commodore's staff.

He was a key player in the development of true freshman tailbacks Warren Norman and Zac Stacy, who ranked 1-2 on the team in rushing in 2009 with Norman producing one of the finest all-purpose campaigns ever by an SEC freshman. He ended the season as the SEC Freshman of the Year and a freshman All-American.
Prior to his time at Vanderbilt, Kitchings coached at Furman from 2004-07 where he was the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator. He helped mentor Larry Hedden, Willis Sudderth and John Rust to all-conference recognition. During his tenure at Furman, the Paladins went 10-3 and captured a conference title in 2004, and advanced to the NCAA I-AA national semifinals in 2005.

Kitchings was a standout receiver/return specialist at Furman. As a senior in 1999, Kitchings helped Furman win the first of three conference championships. He ranks among the school's all-time leaders in receptions and returns. As a specialist, he averaged a SoCon record 29.3 yards on 33 kickoff returns, four of which went for touchdowns - also a school record. A consensus all-Southern Conference selection as both a receiver and returner, Kitchings earned All-America honors as a return specialist in 1999 after leading the NCAA I-AA division in return average.

Kitchings was selected by Kansas City in the 2000 NFL Draft, and spent four years on practice squads and rosters of NFL squads. Kitchings completed a health and exercise science degree at Furman in 2000. He also became the youngest inductee into the Furman Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

A native of Wagener, S.C., Kitchings and his wife, Heather, have three children.




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