Former All-American Lucas hired as assistant rifle coach
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Rifle Coach Jon Hammond announced that former mountaineer and nine-time All-American Jean-Pierre Lucas has been hired as the team’s assistant coach.
“We’re really excited to bring Jean-Pierre back to Morgantown and WVU,” Hammond said. “He set the standard for work ethic and conduct during his five years on our team, rising from just captain to our team captain and leading his team to an NCAA championship. of college athletes leave with five championship rings, and he was a part of the incredible run we had as a team and left an impression on all of his teammates.
Lucas returns to Morgantown after spending the past five seasons at Ole Miss, where he was named the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) Assistant Coach of the Year four times and was the National Assistant Coach of the Year for the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association (CRAC). each of the past two seasons.
“Over the past five years, he has helped transform the Ole Miss rifle team with his coaching, determination and willingness to continually find ways to improve, and I’m so thrilled he’s bringing all those back. things at WVU,” Hammond added. “It’s special to have this full training cycle of an athlete, especially a team captain, and bring him back to training with you, so to say I’m excited is probably an understatement.”
In his final season at Ole Miss, Lucas helped lead the Rebels to a 10-3 regular season record, including a 7-1 mark inside GARC. After the team placed third at the 2022 GARC Championships, Ole Miss moved to the 2022 NCAA Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado where they placed fourth with a total total of 4,713. Lucas was once again named GARC Assistant Coach of the Year and the CRCA National Assistant Coach of the Year after helping six shooters to 12 All-GARC honors, including Lea Horvath, who was honored as the conference shooter of the year. Additionally, Lucas has also helped three shooters earn five All-America accolades.
In 2020-21, Lucas helped Ole Miss qualify for the NCAA Rifle Championship for the first time in 15 years, earning the No. 2 seed, and went on to finish third overall, his best finish in the championship. school history. Horvath also earned two third place finishes in small arms and air rifle. The Rebels opened the season with a bang, posting an NCAA record smallbore score of 2,361 and the best score in program history of more than 40 points on October 10. In doing so, Ole Miss received her first #1 ranking in the school’s history CRCA poll. In January, the Rebels outscored defending champion GARC, No. 2 Kentucky, at home 4,727-4,713. After posting an 11-1 record, Ole Miss also won a share of the GARC regular season title with Kentucky and West Virginia, scoring the most conference wins for the Rebels in franchise history. school (seven) and their first conference championship.
Lucas led a record four Rebels to nine combined CRCA All-American honors. Horvath was a unanimous first-team All-American and earned Rookie of the Year honors after scoring the first perfect air rifle score in Ole Miss history and 12th in NCAA history. . After a historic season for the Rebels, Lucas was named CRCA National Assistant Coach of the Year and GARC Assistant Coach of the Year for the third time in his career.
During the 2019-20 season, Ole Miss had seven of the top 10 aggregate scores in program history, including a record air rifle mark of 2,372, edging out his former team, the Mountaineers, in the event on November 2, 2019. The Rebels made some noise, climbing to 5th place in the CRCA poll for four weeks and spent the entire season in the top 10. Overall, Ole Miss finished the season with a 5-6 record and a sixth-place finish in the Great America Rifle Conference.
With Lucas’ help, Abby Buesseler had one of the best seasons of her career, becoming the sixth All-American in program history. Buesseler earned a trio of All-America nods, including NRA Smallbore first-team honors. She also qualified as an individual for the canceled 2020 NCAA Small Arms Rifle Championships.
The Rebels finished the 2018-19 season with six wins, two GARC honorable mentions with Jillian Zakrzeski and Hayley Carrol, and a fourth-place finish in the conference regular season. Ole Miss spent three weeks ranked No. 7 in the CRCA rankings after posting the second-highest score in program history on Jan. 13, with a 4685. 4651 regular-season final win over Nebraska on Feb. 2.
Lucas arrived at Oxford for his first season in 2017 and made an immediate impact. The Rebels earned their best overall result in GARC action, third overall and won a program record seven games. He also played a pivotal role in helping Kamilla Kisch qualify for the NCAA championship, winning an overall air rifle bid. With all the success on the range, three Rebels received All-GARC honorable mention and Lucas was named conference assistant coach of the year.
Before Ole Miss, Lucas, a native of Speers, Pennsylvania, Lucas earned a spot on the WVU rifle team under Coach Hammond after trying out for the team as a rookie. In 2014, as a redshirt freshman, Lucas competed in the GARC Championships, placing third in small arms (587) with a final score of (441).
As team captain for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, Lucas led the Mountaineers to two NCAA championship titles. During his college career, he earned All-American honors nine times, including NRA First Team Smallbore and CRCA Second Team his senior year. Among his other accomplishments, he finished third in the small bore (583) and fifth in the air rifle (593) at the 2016 GARC Championships.
“I’m really excited to be returning to West Virginia University to join Coach Jon Hammond as an assistant rifle coach,” Lucas said. “I enjoyed my time as a student-athlete at WVU, and having the opportunity to come back as a member of the coaching staff is really special. . I’ve spent the past five years as an assistant rifle coach at Ole Miss, and I’m leaving an incredible team and athletic department that helped me become the coach I am today. I am excited to begin the next chapter of my coaching career with the WVU Rifle Team and look forward to all that we will accomplish together. I’m honored to be a mountaineer again and grateful to have this opportunity.”
Lucas graduated as an Academic All-Big 12 and CRCA All-Academic student from WVU in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering.
For more Mountaineers news, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVURifle on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.