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Rachel Martin Named Ole Miss Rifle Head Coach

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Legendary rifle coach Marsha Beasley is calling it a career after more than three decades of excellence at the collegiate level, including the last seven seasons at the helm of the Ole Miss program. 

With Beasley’s retirement, it was announced that assistant coach Rachel Martin has been named the next head coach of the Rebels. Martin joined the team last July after two successful seasons as the head coach at her alma mater Nebraska.

“I have truly loved working at Ole Miss and cherish my seven years as head coach,” Beasley said. “I will forever be grateful that Ole Miss gave me this opportunity. I have been able to work with some amazing student-athletes, and I thank each of them for taking a chance on me in coming to Ole Miss, for their commitment and hard work, and for helping change the culture of Ole Miss Rifle. A coach can only be successful with student-athletes who are willing to bring their best every single day, are willing to do the hard work and understand the concept of team first.”

“Thank you Marsha for the incredible leadership she has provided our rifle team. Her impact on the sport is truly remarkable, and we are elated for her as she steps away from coaching and enjoys retirement,” said Keith Carter, Ole Miss Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics. “We are equally excited to begin this next chapter for our program under Rachel’s guidance. She has experienced great success in both coaching and competition and has been a tremendous asset to our team in the past year. We look forward to continuing our program’s upward trajectory with Rachel at the helm.”

“I am grateful to Keith Carter and Jennifer Saxon for the opportunity to continue my work with a wonderful and passionate group of athletes,” Martin said. “Through my 20 years of experience in this sport, I have never experienced anything like the tremendous amount of support our team has received from all our staff and fans. Ole Miss has truly become my home and is a program I am proud not only to be a part of, but to now represent as a head coach.”

Martin guided the Huskers to NCAA Championship appearances in each of her two years as head coach. In her first season with the program, she guided her squad to a No. 4 ranking in the CRCA Poll, fired a program record 4707 in the NCAA Qualifier match and produced three All-Americans. Martin followed up a stellar first season with a sixth-place finish at the 2021 NCAA Championship, the school’s best performance since 2017.

Prior to arriving in Lincoln, Martin spent the 2018-19 season as an assistant coach at Army. In her lone season, she helped the Black Knights qualify for the NCAA Championship and take home a sixth-place finish at the event. Over the course of her coaching career, Martin has guided five student-athletes to nine combined All-American honors.

A former competitive shooter herself, Martin rewrote the record books at Nebraska from 2014-17, claiming an individual NCAA Championship in smallbore in 2015 and earning seven All-American honors over the course of her career. Her individual success helped Nebraska to four consecutive top-eight team finishes at the championship meet, including a pair of top-five finishes.

After graduating from Nebraska in 2017, Martin moved to Colorado Springs to train at the United States Olympic Training Center. She has been a member of the USA Shooting World Cup team since 2013, representing Team USA in seven World Cups, and is a seven-time national champion. Martin also served as an alternate for Team USA at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

“Under Coach Beasley this program climbed the national rankings, and I am excited to build on her legacy and guide this team towards a national championship,” Martin said. “Our primary focus at this time is to sustain the unity that has been cultivated in our team and create a legacy for future generations of our sport.”

An eight-time NCAA Championship coach at West Virginia, Beasley began her Ole Miss tenure in 2016 and led the Rebels to national prominence, including a program-best, third-place finish at the 2021 NCAA Rifle Championship. Ole Miss finished top-four in the nation each of the past three straight seasons. This past year, She led the team to its highest finish at the GARC championship and in smallbore at the NCAA Championships of second place.

Beasley, a two-time College Rifle Coaches Association Coach of the Year with Ole Miss, tutored seven Rebels to All-American honors and 12 to All-GARC honors. The excellence on the range also extended to the classroom as 21 of the athletes during her tenure received 49 SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades. 

Ole Miss found success in outside competition during the Beasley era as well. Ali Weisz became the first former Rebel to qualify for the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020 as a member of the USA Shooting Team in women’s air rifle. Weisz earned the title of World Champion and a Team USA Olympic quota for Paris 2024 in the fall after winning the gold medal match in Women’s 10m Air Rifle at the World Championships. She also took home a national title at the 2017 USA Shooting National Championships, and gold medals at both the 2018 Winter Airgun Championships and 2019 Pan American Games. In addition, Kristen Derting was selected to USA Shooting’s National Futures Team in 2021, and Randi Loudin secured bronze in smallbore in 2017 and 2018 at the USA Shooting National Championships. 

From 1990-2006, Beasley was the head rifle coach at West Virginia, leading the program to eight NCAA National Championships. In her first year as head coach, the Mountaineers won the first of four consecutive NCAA titles (1990-93) and repeated the feat from 1995-98. At WVU Beasley also coached eight individuals to NCAA national titles and 27 student-athletes earned 67 NRA All-America honors during her tenure. Four team members competed in the Olympic Games after leaving WVU. In the classroom, 25 Mountaineer student-athletes were named All-Academic 55 times by the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association. She was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2022.

A graduate of East Tennessee State University, Beasley later earned a Master’s in Sport Management at West Virginia. She competed in smallbore and air rifle while in college and as a member of the U.S. National Team. 

In addition to competing and coaching, Beasley has been a leader in the sport. She drafted the bylaws to create the Mid-America Rifle Conference (now GARC) and was a staff member at the (then) national governing body of shooting (the NRA) and the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. She also served 17 years on the Board of the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

Beasley is married to Carl Flowers, and they have a daughter, Tavie, and twin sons, Aaron and Daniel.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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