To be named an All-American is the pinnacle of athletic achievement. Consistent and exemplary performance is a hallmark, perhaps the most evident characteristic, of the honor. All-Americans also embody intangible attributes such as integrity, respect, and responsibility. Therefore, these highly motivated men and women distinguish themselves on another level. Whether NRA All-Americans continue outstanding marksman careers or pursue other fields such as medicine, architecture, education, law, the military, and even space exploration, they accomplish notable successes in their careers.
The All-American award, created by the NRA in 1936 to honor top collegiate rifle shooters, has become an attainable, although elusive, goal for all three disciplines of college shooting sports. The experiences and knowledge gained in pursuing and achieving the prestigious honor remain with the NRA All-American throughout his or her shooting and professional careers. As the NRA All-American Program marked its 60th year during the 125th anniversary of the National Rifle Association in 1996, it signified a joint milestone rich in history. Moreover, it bolstered the resolution that these exceptional men and women continue to be recognized for their commitment and contributions as leaders in the shooting sports community and beyond.
The selection criteria for Rifle & Pistol All-American status has evolved from performance in specific matches and personal knowledge of the shooter to move objective guidelines, including: full time undergraduate or graduate status with or without team affiliation, average score for the season, minimum number of shots fired, number of matches fired, specific matches required, recommendations from coaches and other school officials.
NRA All-American Shotgun honors will be awarded to the top percentage of High Overall National Champions at the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Intercollegiate Clay Target Championships. On average, 10-15 individuals will be awarded First Team NRA All-American Shotgun, and roughly 10-15 individuals will be awarded Second Team NRA All-American Shotgun. Honorable Mention Shotgun honors may also be awarded.
No preliminary paperwork is necessary to become a Collegiate Shotgun All-American.
The All-American selection committee is chosen from the NRA Collegiate Programs Committee, one of 39 policy-making committees of the Association. Members of the selection committee are well known in the competitive shooting community and some of them are former All-Americans, coaches of All-Americans, or both.
Since the start of the NRA's college honors program, All-Americans have contributed significantly to international shooting. For example, Robert Sandager, a 1936 NRA All-American from the University of Minnesota, went on to be named to the U.S. Shooting Team for the 36th World Championships. Since that first year, the extensive list of NRA All-Americans competing at the international level reads like a Who's Who of shooters.
The NRA All-American Program stands out because of its commitment to recognize and honor collegians who have performed remarkable shooting feats through a shooting season. This emphasis on continuous exceptional performance has been a major strength of the program. Acknowledging the outstanding achievements of collegiate shooters remains paramount to the All-American Program's history. The integrity of the All-American Program has remained intact because its foundation was built on respect for every college shooter willing to reach beyond the status quo and challenge himself/herself not only to meet, but to exceed the standards required of an All-American.
To be an NRA All-American is to always accept the challenge of performing at optimal levels while demonstrating exceptional leadership and character.
Collegiate All-American Teams
The first Collegiate All-Americans were selected in 1936. This program was initially open only to men, and coaches nominated their shooters for the honor. Although women did shoot in college at the time, they typically competed on women's teams. In its first year of existence, the NRA College All-American Program, which featured first and second teams of 10 members each, honored representatives from 12 colleges and universities. Members of the coveted first team were called "Golden Bullets." (An asterisk by the year means teams were not selected due to World War II.)
This premier commemorative book chronicles the first 60 years of the NRA All-American Program. If you were selected as part of this team between 1936 and 1998, or are interested in the NRA Collegiate Shooting Program, this book is for you.
The Competitive Shooting Division of the NRA offers a wide range of activities in all types of shooting, sanctions over 11,000 shooting tournaments and sponsors over 50 national championships each year.