Winter 2018

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L ooking through Arizona State University's long list of accom- plishments in clay target shoot- ing, it's hard to believe that the colleg e is still a relative newcomer to the sport. Its team, the Gun Devils, has racked up dozens of top-three team and individual finishes in state and national competition since its inception in 2012. The program's winning ways, combined with its com- mitment to community engagement and preparing students for careers, has created a national appeal. Asked about the swift success, head coach Jim Tweedley, who helped get the Gun Devils started, said the student athletes should get most of the credit. "The success of the ASU Gun Devils is a testimony to the attitude and hard work of the students themselves," he said. "Sure, we have some good coaches that can teach the tools necessary, but it is up to the stu- dents to set goals, practice, and apply what they learn." MODEST BEGINNINGS Tweedley, an avid outdoor enthusiast and Arizona Game and Fish Department vol- unteer, has a history teaching fly fishing, archery and clay target shooting. After instructing high schoolers for a while, he saw a need for more shooting sports pro- grams at the next level. "We decided to establish the ASU team because there was only one team near there in Arizona at the collegiate level. T h a t w a s t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f A r i z o n a ," Tweedley said. "So we wanted to provide students with another opportunity to con- tinue shooting after high school." ASU, a sprawling five-campus insti- tution based in Tempe, Ariz., boasts the country 's largest college enrollment at nearly 72,000 students. Well known for innovation, the school is also popular for majors in business, marketing, engineer- ing and more. T h e s h o o t i n g t e a m , w h i c h t o d a y involves 45–50 athletes, started with eight novice shooters, Tweedley says. The team practices at Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix and competes in the Association of College Unions International. 28 PULLUSA MAGAZINE WINTER 2018 THE FIELD C OL L EGE SP O T L IGH T DOMINANT IN THE DESERT ATTITUDE, PRACTICE AND PEER COACHING KEEP THE ARIZONA STATE GUN DEVILS SHARP by JAKE WEYER THE GUN DEVILS PARTICIPATE IN BOTH REGIONAL AND NATIONAL COMPETITION. E N R O L L M E N T S I Z E O F T E A M L O CAT I O N 71,946 45-50 Tempe, A Z

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