Spring 2018

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N early 140 years ago, the gentle- man trap shooters at Yale Uni- versity—America's third-old- est college—competed against their Ivy League rivals in ties, dress hats and sport jackets. Like the attire, much has changed since then, but Yale's commitment to shooting sports has not. The Skeet & Trap Team's long evity and ong oing success—it fre- quently achieves top honors in individual and team competitions regionally and nationally—make it highly regarded among Ivy League programs. Head coach Tom Migdalski took over the team in 1984 from his father, who founded Yale's Club Sports program in the late 1950s to make "minor sports" collegiate- ly recognized. The Skeet & Trap Team, already more than half-a-century old when Club Sports was launched, was quickly incorporated. Migdalski's father started coaching the team in the early 1960s. "My dad received his original skeet instruction in the Air Force during WWII when they trained the gunners to lead and hit moving targets (other planes) by prac- ticing skeet," Migdalski said. "He contin- ued with the sport after the war, eventually becoming the coach here and developing our current shooting sports complex." Migdalski worked under his father for years before becoming Director of Club Sports and of the Yale Outdoor Education Program. He now coaches the Skeet & Trap Team alongside assistant coach John Clark, who has been with the team since 2013. Both are experienced competitive shooters who are dedicated to furthering the sport. That dedication, Migdalski said, is a hallmark of coaches throughout the team's history. "The key to the continuation and lon- gevity of a program is to have at least one single "adult" (faculty/staff advisor or coach) with a passion, knowledg e and dedication to teaching college students this lifelong individual recreational sport," he said. "Many programs have gone under when their advisor or coach retired or passed away, and nobody else was able to step in. It's not like taking over a volleyball club. We're fortunate to have the succes- sion of dedicated leaders, including our assistant coach, John Clark." It's not unusual for Yale team members to grow into assistant or leadership roles. Former team member Rob Person, for 36 PULLUSA MAGAZINE SPRING 2018 THE FIELD C OL L EGE SP O T L IGH T OVER A CENTURY OF SUCCESS DEDICATED LEADERSHIP AND A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE HAVE KEPT THE YALE SKEET & TRAP TEAM STRONG SINCE THE 1880S by JAKE WEYER 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 12,458 15 New Haven, CT THE YALE SKEET & TRAP TEAM TODAY (ABOVE), IN 1910 (TOP RIGHT) AND IN THE 1960s (BOT TOM RIGHT). up to

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