Mids will face Army for the Star on Saturday at West Point.
Navy head coach Bill Kelley enters his 14th year at the helm of the Navy rifle program, posting an outstanding 135-17 (.888) record. In his short time at Navy, Kelley has transformed the Mids into a national power, competing for the NCAA title in 12 of the 13 years that Kelley has been in charge.
Perhaps the most telling statistic of Navy's resurgence in rifle is its 7-6 record under Kelley against Army.
Fifteen different athletes have earned All-America honors during Kelley's tenure, including Chris Burleson, who was a four-time All-American, including in both disciplines following the 2010 season. Of the five shooters in school history to earn All-American status all four years, three of them have come under Kelley's guidance (Kunzelman and Sarah Bergman and Chris Schneider in 2004-07).
In addition to the All-Americans, Kelley has coached several shooters to Junior Olympic and AAU victories. Four years ago, he helped a relatively unrecruited shooter, Lisa Kunzelman, earn a spot on U.S. Junior World Team and a top-30 finish at the World Championships in her first international competition.
Academically, Navy has been one of the top teams in the nation under Kelley's watch. The team has posted a 100% APR for seven consecutive seasons, which is the longest current streak in the nation. Navy recently received the NCAA's Public Recognition Award for its outstanding performance in the classroom.
Navy finished 8-2 during the 2011-12 season and claimed the MAC Championship for the 13th straight season, every year of Kelley's tenure.
Two years ago, Navy placed seventh in both the smallbore and air rifle disciplines at the NCAA Championships, while winning the MAC Championship with a 9-1 overall record. The Mids reached the NCAA Championships for the 20th straight season and won the Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference team title.
Three years ago, Navy placed eighth at the NCAA Championships with a relatively young starting lineup, while finishing with an 8-1 overall record.
In 2009, the Mids placed seventh at the NCAA Championships, but were second in the air rifle discipline for the second straight year. The Mids posted a 17-1 mark, recording the most wins in a season in school history. In addition, three more Mids earned All-American honors, including air rifle first-teamer Lisa Kunzelman.
Five years ago, Navy overcame a slow start to qualify for its 17th straight NCAA Championship. The Mids finished seventh in the smallbore competition, then flexed their muscles on day two, taking home runner-up accolades in the air rifle disciplines. Two more Mids, Josh Albright and Lisa Kunzelman, were named first-team All-Americans.
Six years ago, senior Josh Albright became Navy's first national champion since 1996, when he won the smallbore competition at the NCAA Championship, rallying in the 10-shot finals. He had entered the finals in second, but surged ahead with his ninth shot in the finals, then held on with his final shot for the victory.
In 2006, the Mids placed fourth overall at the NCAA Championships, Navy's third consecutive top-five finish. In addition to the high placing at NCAAs, Kelley guided Navy to a 9-2 record and another MAC title.
In 2005, the Mids placed fifth at the NCAA Championship, posted an 11-0 dual-meet record and defeated Alaska-Fairbanks and Army in highly-anticipated dual meets.
In 2004, Navy rifle posted another impressive season, finishing third at the NCAA Championship as five Mids took home All-America honors. Kelley's Mids posted a second-place finish in air rifle.
In his previous five years, Kelley led the Mids to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2002 and a sixth-place finish in the NCAA Air Rifle Championship in 2003.
In his first year on The Yard, Kelley coached Navy to an undefeated season and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
Prior to joining the Naval Academy family, Kelley served as the rifle coach at Cresap Rifle Club in Frederick, Md. While there, he trained countless highly successful shooters at local, regional and national matches. He also coached the fifth-ranked finalist at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championship.
In 1992-95, Kelley coached the Maryland resident qualifier in the Junior Olympic Shooting Championship, and in 1995 he co-coached the National Intermediate Junior Champion Rifle Team.
In 1996, Kelley worked on the production staff for shooting events at the Olympic Games and World Cup in Atlanta. He received the Diploma of Honour Award from the Union Internationale de Tir (international Olympic governing body) for service to the shooting sports that same year.
Kelley is certified by the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a smallbore rifle coach. He was selected as one of approximately 30 coaches in the United States to train other coaches as a member of the National Coach Development Staff.
He authored Shooting is Fun...At Least it Used to Be, which addresses the problem of burnout among collegiate shooters and suggests remedies. The NRA Shooting Sports USA and NRA Shooting Education Update accepted the article for publication.
Kelley resides in Frederick, Md., with his wife, Liz. Kelley's youngest son, Josh, is a 2000 graduate of the Naval Academy and was a two-time All-American in rifle. Coach Kelley is the founder and owner of the Gun Center, a full-time retail store in Frederick, Md.