SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 18, 2017 — Drury University will introduce shooting sports to its lineup of non-NCAA sports next year. Coed shotgun shooting will become the school’s fifth non-NCAA sport starting in fall 2017.
The shotgun team will compete in skeet, trap and clay. Shotgun shooting will primarily be a spring sport, though some competitions will take place in the fall as well. Scholarships are available. Prospective students interested in learning more about the shotgun team can contact the Drury Admissions Office at(417) 873-7205 and [email protected], or visit www.drury.edu/admission.
Bass Pro Shops will offer support for the new program by allowing the Drury team practice time at its Bass Pro Shops Shooting Academy facility at Big Cedar Lodge.
Tom Ruck will serve as head coach for Drury’s shooting sports program. Ruck is from Chesterfield, Missouri, and has more than 40 years experience as an instructor and competitor. He was a member of USA Shooting’s international skeet shooting team and been a medalist at the state, regional and national level in several disciplines of shooting competitions.
“The opportunity to start at the ground-floor and build this program is one of the things that made this an attractive opportunity,” said Ruck. “With the support of Drury’s athletics department, it has the chance to be very successful. I’ve always enjoyed working with young people and I’m looking forward to teaching people the things that have taken me 40 years to learn in this sport.”
Ruck has earned multiple All-American honors in skeet shooting, and sporting clays and is a certified instructor with the National Sporting Clays Association, the National Skeet Shooting Association and FITACS, the international form of sporting clays. Ruck has spent his professional career in the printing industry and is currently the president of Office Systems, Inc., in the St. Louis area.
Shotgun joins other recent additions of non-NCAA programs at Drury such as bass fishing, bowling, triathlon and stunt. Non-NCAA sports allow students to participate in a wider variety of intercollegiate competition beyond mainline athletics. The expansion continues Drury’s tradition of providing a wide range of outlets for students’ interests beyond the classroom, and will give current and incoming students even more options to consider.
“We’re excited to continue to expand our competitive athletics offerings at Drury,” said Director of Athletics Mark Fisher. “The Ozarks has a rich tradition of outdoor sports like hunting and fishing. This is a great fit for Drury and for our culture here in southwest Missouri and across the Midwest.”
Shooting sports at the collegiate level are growing in popularity. Similar schools in Missouri with shooting programs include Lindenwood University, Missouri S&T, the University of Central Missouri, and Columbia College – though not all of those programs are under their school’s athletics department umbrella, as will be the case at Drury.