FOUR-TIME OVC COACH OF THE YEAR BOB BEARD RETURNS AS INTERIM HEAD RIFLE COACH
June 21, 2016
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MARTIN, Tenn. – Legendary head coach Bob Beard has returned to oversee the University of Tennessee at Martin rifle program, interim athletics director Kevin McMillan has announced.
Beard steps in as the Skyhawks’ interim head rifle coach after spending the last two seasons as a volunteer assistant under Justin Grinolds, who resigned his post earlier this month.
“We wish the best for Justin, who stepped aside as our head coach to pursue other professional opportunities,” McMillan said. “We consider ourselves very fortunate to have a coach of Bob’s stature who was willing to take over head coaching duties.”
Beard is the longest-tenured member of the UT Martin athletics department, as he served as Skyhawk head rifle coach from 1982 through 2014. He established UT Martin’s rifle program as a model of excellence and consistency, as the program was ranked in the top-20 of the final national polls in 31 of his 32 seasons as head coach.
“After Coach Grinolds’ resignation, we talked at length about his decision,” Beard said. “He brought me up to date on schedules, transportation and other administrative items. I am glad to be back and I look forward to getting started again.”
Beard has been recognized as Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year on four different occasions, bringing home that award in 2000, 2007, 2011 and 2014. He has produced four All-Americans, one national champion and an Olympian during his time as UT Martin head coach.
Beard will take over a Skyhawk program that saw both the mixed squad and the women’s squad ranked in the national polls last season for the first time since 2012. UT Martin also won the OVC Team Sportsmanship Award in 2015-16, which was the fifth time in 11 seasons that the Skyhawks received that accolade.