CaptainU’s Winter 2014 College Coaches of the Year were just announced and we want you to “meet” the coaches themselves.
Meet West Virginia University Rifle coach Jon Hammond, who was hand-selected by our committee as a Coach of the Year due in part to winning his second consecutive NCAA national title and breaking the NCAA record score (4,705 – previously 4,700).
Congratulations Coach Hammond on your award and on an incredible season!!
How did you get into coaching your sport?
I was a team member on the WVU Rifle team from 2002-03, I came over from Scotland to study my Masters at WVU and only had a couple years of eligibility. I graduated in 2004 and worked for a few years at a golf tournament but helped as a volunteer for the team. In 2006 my coach retired and I was in the right place at the right time and applied for the job.
What do you like most about being a coach?
I love the competition part! I have always been a competitive person, and the opportunity to bring the WVU Rifle team back to one of the best programs in the country was simply an amazing opportunity for me. Ultimately working with students every day is very rewarding, you are more than a coach, you are the parent away from home, the mentor and even the advisor sometimes. Building relationships with the team members and see them grow from high school kids to college graduates is really the most satisfying part.
What are you most proud of from this past season?
I think the past season I am most proud of how we continually improved throughout the year! We had a really slow start at the beginning of the year, shooting some of our worst scores, being ranked outside the top 5, and we came all the way back to be the best team in the country with the highest scores by the end of the season. It showed how hard the team worked throughout the year, they never quit, and really responded to what we asked them to do and bought into everything we told them. They were simply one of the best team units I have coached and were just a create group of kids.
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