Dr. Richard Hawkins, coach to a World Champion and to an Olympic Silver medalist, is in his seventh season as the Coast Guard Academy Collegiate Competitive Shooting Sports Coach.
Hawkins grew up in Michigan where he graduated from Bath High School in 1972. He went on to college at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he graduated in June 1976 with a Bachelor of Science Degree and a commission as a Second Lieutenant. He spent ten years assigned to the United States Army Marksmanship Unit’s International Rifle Section where he competed in International Rifle Competitions and won numerous medals. He retired in June 1996 and attended Graduate School at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, where he graduated number one in his class with a Master of Business Administration Degree. He went on to earn PhD in Sports Science in 2014. He conducted seven original scientific research projects, with four being published in scientific peer-reviewed journals.
In 2001, Coach Hawkins was selected as the International Rifle Coach for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit and coached there until August 2013.
While a Coach at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit from February 2001 to August 2013, Coach Hawkins:
1) Had one of his team members win the 2002 World Championship in Men’s Air Rifle. At the 2004 Olympic Games, another team member won the Silver Medal in Men’s Three Position Rifle. This is the only Olympic Rifle Medal for an USAMU member in the past 47 years. After five successful years as the Rifle Coach, he was reassigned as the Pistol Coach. He went on to coach the pistol team to three National Team Championships. These were the first team championships the team had won in 25 years.
2) Was awarded a Class A International Judge’s License (eligible to coach in the Olympics), a Class A International Coach’s License (one of nineteen in the world with an ISSF Class A Licensed Coach, the highest coach certification that a shooting coach can earn). He received all coaching rifle and pistol certifications in the U.S. for the Olympic shooting sports.
3) Was selected as a Voluntary Assistant National Team Coach from 2002 to 2005. In which time he was selected as the U.S. Team Leader for five major International Championships competitions.
Coach Hawkins was selected as the new Pistol and Rifle Head Coach for the U.S. Coast Guard in August 2013. Since his arrival at the Academy, the Pistol and Rifle Team have taken on a new life in their training and competition development. Of primary importance is the recruitment and development of Leaders of Character to the team that have the ability to shoot competitively in the NCAA ranks. Under his leadership the Bears won the 2019 National Collegiate Pistol Championship, have had three Collegiate National Pistol Individual Champions, numerous All Americans, and established new Academy team and individual records. The Rifle Team won the 2019 Mid Atlantic Rifle Conference (MAC) team and individual Championship as well as establishing new Academy records in every team event and five of six individual events.
Coach Hawkins was elected, in January 2017, to a four-year term on the Board of Directors of USA Shooting, the National Governing Body for Olympic Shooting. Cited for his integrity, professional knowledge, development of student athletes, and contributions to the sport, he was named the 2019 Mid Atlantic Rifle Conference Coach of the Year.