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Legendary Air Force Academy Coach Alan Osur Dies

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Legendary Air Force Academy Coach Alan Osur Dies

Alan Osur with a fellow Air Force alumn in 1985. Air Force Rugby owes much to Alan Osur. Photo US Air Force Academy Alumni.

Highly respected national collegiate champion coach Alan Osur has died.

Osur died on March 7, and his death was announced by his family this week, he was 80 years old. Alan Osur was a learned man and a very cerebral coach. He held degrees from Rutgers, University of Connecticut, Denver University, and Regis University. H served in the United States Air Force, serving in Vietnam and also in Germany. He became an expert on race relations in the military, was an accomplished mountaineer, a history professor, and a software engineer.

He picked up rugby while stationed in England in the 1960s playing for Shelford, and he played into his 60s. He helped start the US Air Force Academy teams, both men and women, and was enormously influential in the success of those programs. From 1989 through 2008 Cal won the national men's D1 championship all but three times. Those other three times the winner was the Air Force Academy. On the women's side, where Osur became Head Coach, the Zoomies won in 1991 (the first official women's D1 college championship), 1994, 2002, and 2003. That 2003 season saw Air Force win on both the men's and women's side.

A brilliant, kind, and hugely respected man, Osur was a brilliant coach and the father of Air Force rugby. He is an honorary member of the Tuskegee Airmen in recognition of the work he did in race relations in the military. He was a play, coach, referee, administrator in rugby, and outstanding in all those roles.

As Osur was a member of the Jewish faith, his family is asking for no flowers. Instead, please consider donating to Temple Shalom, 1523 East Monument; Colorado Springs, CO 80909 or to the Alan Osur Perpetual Fund for Women’s Rugby (contact Kate at 719-338-3770).

Alan Osur was preceded in death by his first wife, Madelyn, who died in 2005, and is survived by his wide Lisa Benhammou-Osur, his five children and stepchildren, his sister and two brothers, and nine grandchildren.

His funeral service can be seen here: