Fisher DeBerry served as head coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy for a brilliant 23-year career. He led 17 of his 23 teams to winning records, with 12 capturing bowl bids. His career record of 169-109-1 is the best in school history, in terms of both games won and winning percentage. He coached the Falcons to three conference championships and is the winningest coach at any service academy, having compiled a remarkable 35-11 record against Army and Navy. He was named national coach of the year in 1985 after his team finished with a 12-1 record.
Coach DeBerry was one of the game’s most respected coaches for his efforts off the field as well. In 1996, he served as President of the 10,000 member American Football Coaches Association and also served time as chairman of the AFCA Ethics Committee. In 2001, Coach DeBerry received the State Farm Coach of Distinction Award, in recognition of his football success, example as a role model to his players and service to his community. A native of Cheraw, S.C., he is a member of the South Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and Wofford College Hall of Fame.
More important than his lengthy list of coaching accomplishments, Coach DeBerry has been active in church, charity and community affairs. He has been active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and in 2004 was inducted into its Hall of Champions. He and his wife LuAnn have assisted fund-raising efforts for the Ronald McDonald House, American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, March of Dimes, Salvation Army and the American Heart Association. In 2004, they established the Fisher DeBerry Foundation, which exists to provide children of single parent homes with life-changing opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have, such as sports camps and other activities.
“Fisher DeBerry is the guy who taught me that you can treat kids like they’re your own.” Jim Grobe current Wake Forrest Head Coach and assistant under Fisher DeBerry at Air Force.