Michael Anti Announced as Head Navy Rifle Coach
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Michael Anti, a decorated four-time Olympic competitor, was announced on Tuesday as the new head rifle coach at the United States Naval Academy by the Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. Anti comes to Annapolis after eight successful years as an assistant coach at the Air Force Academy and over 30 total years of experience with shooting, competing and coaching rifle.
“Mike’s distinguished career as a former Olympian and one of the world’s top marksmen, a now retired military officer, and a highly successful Division I coach make him especially qualified to lead our varsity program,” said Gladchuk. “Following in Coach Bill Kelley’s footsteps will be a challenge, but continuing Bill’s legacy of great success at Navy will clearly be his target. Whereas Coach Anti’s father was one of our most accomplished coaches at Navy in the 90’s and prior to Coach Kelley, I am sure Mike will approach this responsibility with great ambition and an even greater sense of family pride. In many respects, he has come home to Annapolis.”
“I am honored and excited to be coming to the Naval Academy as the head rifle coach and want to thank Mr. Gladchuk for giving me this opportunity,” remarked Anti. “The USNA rifle team has an amazing history producing many All-Americans in both events, two NCAA individual champions and 26 NCAA appearances, I am confident that we will continue that proud tradition of winning. I look forward to the challenges and successes the future holds for the rifle team and I am excited to get to work. Go Navy!”
No stranger to the Navy rifle program, Anti’s father Ray, led the Midshipmen for 12 years from 1986 through the 1998 season following a distinguished 30-year career with the United States Marine Corps. The younger Anti began his career in high-level competition rifle in 1981 as member of the United States’ junior team before moving into the collegiate ranks at West Virginia University. An eight-time All-American in both smallbore and air rifle from 1984 through 1987. During his time in Morgantown, Anti and the Mountaineers went 38-2 and won the NCAA Championships in 1984 and 1986. As an individual, Anti won the 1986 NCAA Smallbore Championship.
Following a standout collegiate career, Anti joined the United States Army and served for 20 years and retired at the rank of major in 2009. Initially stationed in Korea with the 1/503 IN before being assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) at Fort Benning, Ga. as an international rifle shooter from 1991 to 1994. While at Fort Benning, Anti received his Airborne Badge and Ranger Tab. In 1994, he was assigned to the 1st CAV DIV at Fort Hood, Texas and his assignment included Bde and Bn S-3 Air, Bradley Company Commander and a Headquarters/Headquaters Company Command (HHC). Anti was reassigned to the USAMU in 1998.
While serving with the U.S. Army, Anti was also assigned to the World Class Athlete Program and was given the opportunity to teach and ply his skills on the international level. A four-time Olympian, Anti first appeared at the premier global competition in 1992 in the men’s 50-meter prone rifle event. Eight years later in 2000, Anti competed for the United States in the men’s three-position event. Anti made his way onto the medal stand in the next Olympics in 2004 at the Athens Games as he earned a silver medal in the men’s 3x40 rifle event. He rounded out his Olympic career in 2008 as an athlete in the men’s prone event. In addition to his success at the Olympics, Anti is also a two-time World Cup champion, as well as a silver medalist at the 2000 World Cup Finals. He has also competed at the Championships of Americas Games, three World Championship Games and two Pan American Games with a host of team and individual titles to his name.
Anti joined the collegiate coaching ranks in August of 2009 as an assistant coach at the Air Force Academy. Since arriving in Colorado Springs, the Falcons have grown into a consistent national and service academy power. Over his eight seasons, Air Force competed in the NCAA Championships in four years and won the President’s Trophy Match four times, including each of the past three seasons. Air Force qualified for and competed in the NCAA Championship in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The 2016 team finished in fourth place with 4,669 points, the program’s highest finish at the national event since 1996. In 2017, Air Force won the President’s Trophy Match and competed at the NCAA Championship, where it finished eighth overall.
Individually, eight different Air Force student-athletes earned All-American status under Anti’s coaching. He closed out his career in Colorado Springs in 2017, with four Falcons garnering national accolades, including a spot on the NRA First Team Air Rifle for Spencer Cap. Another individual highlight for Anti and the Falcons during his time with the program was David Higgins (USAFA ’16) earning a spot on the 2016 United States Olympic Team and competing in Rio in the men’s prone event.
A 1987 graduate from West Virginia University with a B.S. in business, Anti was inducted in 2014 into the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame.
A native of Winterville, N.C., Anti and his wife are parents to two NCAA athletes, Matt, a former wrestler at West Virginia and Will, a rising-junior on the WVU rifle team.