University of the Ozarks Shooting Sports Club Coach Mike Qualls has been selected to participate in a prestigious coaching clinic sponsored by the nation’s elite shooting program.
Qualls will take part in the USA Shooting Collegiate Coach Clinic, scheduled for Aug. 25-28, at the USA Olympic Shooting Center in Colorado Springs, Col. The premier sports shooting organization in the country, USA Shooting has as its mission to “prepare American athletes to win Olympic and Paralympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S., and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country.”
Qualls, who serves as the University’s maintenance manager of the physical plant, helped form the shooting club at Ozarks in 2010. Later that year he took a team of shooters from Ozarks to the Association of College Union International’s (ACUI) annual Intercollegiate Clay Target Championships, becoming the first university in the state to compete in the national competition.
Qualls has been involved in youth shooting in Arkansas since 2005 and is the former state director of the Scholastic Clay Target Program.
“It’s a great honor to be selected to attend the U.S. Olympic Shooting Center and to get coaching tips from some of the country’s top coaches,” said Qualls. “There will be some real advance training on techniques and best practices as well as things like mental training and preparation. There will be some very valuable information and tips that I believe I can bring back here to help our shooters.”
The first-time clinic will also focus on helping coaches build their collegiate programs, something that Qualls is excited about. Among the program-building topics expected to be covered include, student recruitment and retention, how to promote the program, and fund-raising and scholarship issues.
“We’re a new program and these are exactly the types of topics that will benefit us,” Qualls said. “Basically, they want to know what they can do, as an organization, to help out these collegiate programs, because that’s where the next generation of world-class shooters are going to come from.”
Qualls will be one of about 20 coaches across the country taking part in the program. Mark and Jackie Nowotny of Clarksville, who are adjunct professors at Ozarks and who serve as volunteer coaches with the Ozarks shooting team, will also attend the clinic. The Nowotnys, both regionally renowned shooters, own the River Valley Sportsman Club, the shooting range where the Ozarks team practices. The three are the only coaches from Arkansas scheduled to take part in the clinic.
“It’s going to be a tremendous opportunity for all three of us to watch and see how the top coaches and shooters in the country operate,” Qualls said. “That type of opportunity doesn’t come along very often.”
University of the Ozarks Shooting Sports Club Coach Mike Qualls was recently selected to participate in the first USA Shooting Collegiate Coach Clinic at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, Col.