Mids entering second year of competition in the GARC
Announced as the program's assistant coach in early June 2014, Lou MacKenzie joined head coach Bill Kelley's staff after 17 years as the head rifle coach for the Queen Anne's County 4-H Marksmanship Club.In his first season with the Midshipmen during 2014-15, MacKenzie aided the squad in posting a 6-6 record with GARC wins over No. 16 North Carolina State and No. 18 Ole Miss. Navy twice nearly picked up victories over top-10 opponents as the Mids fell by 10 points to No. 2 Kentucky and No. 7 Memphis in back-to-back weeks. Navy shot a program-record on the current targets (circa 2008) with a 4,651 showing versus John Jay in the NCAA Qualifying match. A 23rd place showing by Dan Jonas in the NCAA Smallbore Rifle Championship concluded the Mids' year.
MacKenzie joins the Midshipmen program after an accomplished career on the junior circuit. Named 2012 Junior Rifle Coach of the Year by the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, MacKenzie led Queen Anne's County to the 2013 and 2014 NRA National Indoor Team Championships in both smallbore and air rifle. Led by 2014 NRA National Indoor Individual Champions, Mark Matheny (air rifle) and Drew Cheezum (smallbore), the team set a new national air rifle scoring record in 2014. His Queen Anne's County club also won the US Army Air Rifle National Team title. MacKenzie's top shooter at that match, David Sink, claimed the individual national championship. Including Sink, Matheny, and Cheezum, six members of the club were invited to participate at this spring's U.S. Junior Olympic Shooting Championships.
Since 2006, MacKenzie has seen five of his shooters from Queen Anne's County move on to collegiate careers at nationally-ranked programs, such as West Virginia, Jacksonville State and Tennessee-Martin. Two of MacKenzie's most recent shooters, Taylor Ciotola (West Virginia '15) and Cole Tucker (Jacksonville State '15) each earned All-American honors at their respective schools. Tucker finished second at the 2013 NCAA Championships.
Besides coaching his athletes in competitions, MacKenzie scheduled all matches for the Queen Anne's County club and served as match director for home matches, including the Maryland State Indoor Championship 3-P Smallbore and Precision Standing Air Rifle. He is certified by the National Rifle Association and Maryland 4-H as a rifle, smallbore and pistol instructor.