CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Citadel has been selected to host the 2018 NCAA Rifle Championships, it was announced Tuesday.
“We are excited to be selected as the host for the 2018 NCAA Rifle Championships,” The Citadel Athletic Director Jim Senter said. “Coach [William] Smith has worked tirelessly to position our rifle program among the nation’s elite, and being awarded the national championship is a testament to his efforts. This will be an opportunity for The Citadel and the city of Charleston to show the hospitality we are known for as we strive to provide an excellent championship experience for the participating student-athletes as well as their coaches and fans.”
The rifle championships mark the third national championship competition hosted at The Citadel and first since Johnson Hagood Stadium was the site of the 1983 and 1984 Division I-AA football national championship games. The 2018 NCAA Rifle Championships are scheduled for March 9-10 and will be hosted inside McAlister Field House. Additional information, including ticket prices and order procedures, will be released at a later date.
“Having The Citadel host an NCAA championship has been a dream of mine for the last 14 years,” The Citadel head rifle coach William Smith said. “For a majority of those years, South Carolina was blocked from hosting and 30 minutes after that issue was resolved I submitted a bid for the championships. Hosting is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Charleston, The Citadel and The Citadel rifle team. Eight five-person teams and eight individuals will compete next March for the collegiate championship in air rifle and smallbore rifle. The teams will have current and future Olympic athletes showcasing their skills in a truly gender- and body mass-neutral sport.”
The Citadel concluded its 2016-17 season by hosting the first Southern Conference Championship since 1985 when the SoCon brought back rifle as a conference championship sport after a 32-year hiatus. The Inouye Marksmanship Center has hosted six straight conference championship matches after also hosting the SEARC Championship each year from 2012-16.
The Bulldogs’ co-ed team won four matches during the season, and the women’s team registered a season-high aggregate score in nine of 14 matches. Smith was voted the Southern Conference Coach of the Year and was one of six coaches nominated for the CRCA’s national Coach of the Year award. Sophomore Allison Auten, a two-time Southern Conference Athlete of the Month for air rifle, was a second-team All-SoCon selection in air rifle.