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Ole Miss Rifle Hires Olympic Gold Medalist Will Shaner As Assistant Coach

Ole Miss rifle head coach Rachel Martin announced Olympic gold medalist and NCAA National Champion Will Shaner as the newest assistant coach as the Rebels prepare for the upcoming 2023-24 season.
 
“We hit the jackpot with Will. There is no one who has a more impressive resume or skill set and his addition to our team makes this coming season even more exciting,” said Martin. “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Will for many years and have seen him develop into one of the best athletes in the world while displaying a strong moral character. I have every confidence in his ability to help take this team to the next level.”
 
Shaner joins the Rebels after a stellar five-year collegiate career at the University of Kentucky, where he guided the program to four national championship appearances and back-to-back titles in 2021 and 2022. The 11-time First Team All-American brings an elite shooting background to Oxford after having served as a member of the U.S. Junior National Team for five years before becoming a member of the U.S. National Team. He currently shoots and trains with Team USA with the goal of representing the United States again in Paris in 2024.
 
Arriving in Lexington as a freshman, Shaner continued to see rapid success each season. He continued to earn more accolades and break personal records each year. By Shaner’s sophomore campaign, he fired the second-best smallbore score in the nation (594) and was one of two shooters in the country to surpass an aggregate score above 1190. Kentucky went on to win the GARC Championship, with Shaner taking home the gold medal in air rifle.
 
In his junior season, the Colorado Springs, Colorado, native took his talents to a new level, collegiately and internationally. Shaner finished as the NCAA Air Rifle runner-up to teammate Mary Tucker at the NCAA Championships. His 1184 combined score helped the Wildcats to their second national title in three seasons, excluding the shortened 2019-2020 season. Shaner excelled in the summer at the National Junior Olympics, the ISSF World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, taking home gold medals at each event. At the Junior Olympics, he won gold in smallbore and silver in air rifle. The next month, he fired a 250.5 at the ISSF World Cup in Croatia for the men’s 10-meter air rifle gold medal. In July of 2021, Shaner became the first American to win the gold medal in men’s air rifle, cementing himself as the world’s best male air rifle shooter and setting an Olympic record with a 251.6 in the finals.
 
Coming off an incredible summer, Shaner guided Kentucky to its second straight national title and was crowned the NCAA Smallbore Individual National Champion. This past season, he wrapped up his collegiate career, finishing as the NCAA National Runner-Up in Smallbore with a silver medal and helped the Wildcats secure a third-place finish.
 
A couple of months after finishing his collegiate shooting career, Shaner began coaching for Team Winning Solutions. As a coach, Shaner has been able to interact with athletes of varying abilities, foster positive growth relationships and develop plans for their competitive goals.
 
“I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to work with Rachel and be the assistant for Ole Miss Rifle,” said Shaner. “With such a competitive team that knows how to work hard, I can’t wait to see how this season plays out.”


Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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