Air Force football added two coaches to its staff, according to an announcement from head coach Troy Calhoun. Nick Jones has joined the staff from Coastal Carolina and will coach tight ends while Chip Vaughn comes to the Academy from Fayetteville State and will coach the secondary.
Air Force opens spring football Feb. 20. The Falcons finished 5-7 overall last season and finished fourth in the Mountain West’s Mountain Division with a 4-4 mark.
Nick Jones, tight ends
Nick Jones enters his first season at Air Force as tight ends coach. Jones comes to the Academy after six years at Coastal Carolina where he served as tight ends and tackles coach. Jones coached the CCU PAT/FG units as well as the punt coverage unit.
In 2012, he helped left tackle Chad Hamilton earn second team honors while bookend Drew Herring had a breakout season holding down the right tackle spot. In addition, despite limited playing time due to multiple injuries, tight end David Duran was tabbed second-team All-Big South. Then, in 2013, Hamilton and Herring were both named first team All-Big South while tight end Thomas Pauciello hauled in three touchdown receptions.
Hamilton capped his career at Coastal by earning first team All-American honors and signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears. Also in 2014, Coastal tight ends Pauciello and Craig Weick each spent extended time on the injured list, but combined to haul in 22 passes for 288 yards and three scores. Also, senior Cody Craig was voted Academic All-Big South.
In 2015, Jones oversaw the most successful special team unit in the nation. The punt coverage unit ranked first in the NCAA FCS as opponents only attempted to return one punt for zero yards.
Jones helped Coastal have one of its best seasons rushing the ball in school history during the 2016 campaign as the Chants topped 200 yards in 11 of their 12 games, including three games with at least 300. In turn, Voghens Larrieux was named All-American, playing both left and right tackle, while running back De'Angelo Henderson earned his second All-American honor, was a national offensive Player of the Year finalist for a second time and was drafted by the Denver Broncos.
A four-year letterman for at Georgia (2003-06), Jones was an offensive graduate assistant on the Bulldogs' staff from 2010-11. His first year with UGA, Jones was responsible for preparing the defensive scout team, simulating the upcoming opponent's defense and helping Georgia win the Southeastern Conference East Division. Jones was a second team All-SEC selection at center as a senior and was elected as the permanent co-captain of the 2006 squad. Following his senior season he was selected to play in the prestigious Hula Bowl All-Star Game.
A native of Bowdon, Ga., Jones started 32 consecutive games for the Bulldogs and was part of a senior class that compiled a 40-12 four-year record, 3-1 bowl record, played in two SEC championship games and won the 2005 SEC title. Jones signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks in 2007 and spent parts of two seasons with the Seahawks, New York Giants and Detroit Lions organizations.
A 2006 graduate in risk management and insurance, Jones was named the team's Most Valuable Offensive Player as a senior and was recipient of the Leon Farmer Strength and Conditioning Award.
He is married to the former Katie Hammonds. The couple have a son, Deuce.
Chip Vaughn, secondary
Chip Vaughn enters his first season at Air Force as the secondary coach. He comes to the Academy from Fayetteville State where he served as the defensive backs coach and videotape exchange coordinator.
Vaughn, a former NFL player who earned a Super Bowl ring with the New Orleans Saints in 2010, also helped design the passing game schemes at FSU.
Prior to joining the Broncos staff, Vaughn spent one season (2015) coaching safeties and assisting with special teams at Winston-Salem State through the NFLPA Coaching Internship program for the initial three months. He was promoted to an assistant coach after the internship.
Vaughn is a native of Fairfax, VA, where he starred at Robinson Secondary School, before playing collegiately at Wake Forest. Vaughn had a stellar career as a Demon Deacon where he finished with 258 tackles (174 solo), three interceptions, 22 passes breakups, four fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, and one fumble returned for a touchdown.
In 2007, he was named All-ACC honorable mention, and topped off his senior season in 2008 with a First Team All-ACC selection, where he played in 13 games with 12 starts, registering 87 tackles, two interceptions, six passes defended and two fumble recoveries. Vaughn helped Wake Forest rank 12th in the nation in pass defense, allowing 172.5 yards per game.
He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft (116th overall) by the New Orleans Saints. After an injury during a training camp practice, he spent the entire season on injured reserve, but received a Super Bowl XLIV ring. Vaughn would go on to play two more seasons in the NFL, with stints at the Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers.
Vaughn was selected to participate in the 2018 NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy. The NFL and NCAA host the Coaches Academy for former NFL players who are current coaches. The highly competitive and intensive program trains selected participants in a variety of areas that encourage effective coaching and improve student-athlete well-being at both the intercollegiate and professional levels. Vaughn was one of 15 coaches nationally to participate in the training.