Dec. 11, 2000
UAB's air rifle team is composed of a head coach and four student-athletes. In the sport of rifle, there is no differentiation between men's and women's teams nor NCAA divisions. All institutions that sponsor the sport compete together.
UAB started its rifle program in the early 1980s as a men's sport. A few years later, it was changed to a co-ed sport allowing women to compete. In the early 1990s, rifle became a conference sport competing in the Great Midwest Conference. In 1995, UAB joined Conference USA. In 1997 the rifle team changed to an all women's sport and added scholarships. One year later, two conference teams dropped the sport at their institutions leaving only four teams in Conference USA, not enough to be a conference-sponsored sport. The rifle team is now independent, competing at invitationals and sectionals.
The UAB rifle team travels all over the south, going as far west as Dallas and as far north as Hershey, Pa. They compete in a number of major invitationals such as those held at Texas Christian, Murray State, Jacksonville State and Memphis.
UAB supplies all the equipment for the shooters to use. Rifles, leather jackets, telescopes, gloves and other shooting equipment make up the inventory for an air rifle shooter. The UAB athletic department provides funding for equipment, ammunition, travel and scholarships. Head coach Lori Goodwin uses this scholarship money to recruit women who have an eye for the sport.
The team members usually practice three to four days a week, two to three hours a day, depending on class schedules. They use Bulls-eye Range in Hoover as their home practice facility. Physical training to strengthen muscles and the cardiovascular system is usually done on an individual basis.
As a coach and former member of the team, Goodwin takes special pride in directing the continuance of UAB's rifle tradition. She knows the importance of setting goals and her goal is to move UAB up in the ranks and put the Blazers on the NCAA map.