Imagine getting private golf lessons from Tiger Woods, tennis tips from Venus Williams or a few weeks of skiing instruction from Lindsey Vonn.

West Virginia University is offering a three-week class this summer (PE 156) that features similar world-class instruction. Rifle Coach John Hammond, a member of Great Britain’s 2008 Olympic team, along with former NCAA all-American and WVU assistant coach Lafe Kunkel, will teach a riflery class at WVU this summer.

The one-credit-hour course is from May 17 to June 3 and will accommodate around 32 students, Hammond said. Prospective students can register at

It’s not the first time WVU has offered the class but it’s the first time for Hammond, who just finished his fourth season at WVU with a third-place finish in the NCAA Rifle Championship. Hammond guided the Mountaineers to an NCAA title in 2009, his first at the school, but the team’s 14th since 1980. Hammond, a native of Scotland, said competing internationally has been an obstacle to teaching the class in the past.

“I know it used to be a pretty popular and I don’t think we’ll have a problem filling the class,” Hammond said. “We just released the information and I’ve already gotten quite a few e-mails about it. I’m looking forward to it.”

Hammond anticipates the class, offered through WVU’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, to be a “big mix” of students, from hunters who want to hone their sharp-shooting skills to current students with an interest in riflery.

“It’s for anybody who wants to sharpen their skill or who wants to go further with the sport,” Hammond said.

In his first three years at WVU, Hammond was named Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association Coach of the Year, Great American Rifle Conference Coach of the Year and the 2008 National Rifle Association Distinguished College Coach.

Hammond won the World Junior Championships at age 17 and went on to compete for the University of Leeds’ rifle team. At the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, he finished 29th in the 10m air rifle with a personal best score of 589; 34th in the 50m rifle prone; and 42nd in the 50m rifle three-positions. Before the Olympics, Hammond competed in all four World Cups in 2008. He had a fifth-place finish in the 50m prone at the Rio de Janerio World Cup and a personal best in the air rifle at the Munich World Cup.

Kunkel helped lead the Mountaineers back to national prominence in the last few years. As the team’s Most Valuable Shooter in 2008, he led WVU to its first appearance in the NCAA competition after a six-year absence. In 2008, he led the Mountaineers in smallbore at the NCAA competition with a fourth-place finish and 676.6 points.


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