The ETSU Years 1977-83
In early September 1977 I left active duty in the Army and became the East Tennessee State University Rifle Coach. I was also taking classes, serving with the US Army Reserve and competing with the U.S. Shooting Team. I also was the Chair of the NCAA Rifle Committee 1979-80 and Secretary-Rules Editor 1979-83.
1977-78 East Tennessee State University Rifle Team
(My first team at ETSU.)
My first "big" team with the U.S. Shooting Team was the II Championships of the Americas held in Mexico City in the Fall of 1977. I shot Air Rifle and Smallbore English Match. I had quite a case of altitude sickness and generally felt like hell the whole time. I did help win a team gold in the English Match and a team silver in Air Rifle. This earned me the U.S. Distinguished International Shooter Badge.
My second team was for the 42nd World Shooting Championships in Seoul, Korea in September 1978. I shot 300m Free Rifle 3x40. We won the World 300m Free Rifle Championship, the World 300m Prone Free Rifle Championship, the World 300m Standing Free Rifle Championship and were second in the World 300m Kneeling Free Rifle Championship. I shot my highest match score ever (1150) and placed 4th individually in standing and the aggregate.
1978 World 300m Free Rifle Team Champions:
L to R: Lones Wigger, Ray Carter, Webster Wright, David Kimes
Lones Wigger and Ray Carter, 1978 World Shooting Championships
After the team award ceremony was a mob of photographers were taking photos of Wig. Joe Berry or someone sent me over to get him for another team picture. The photographers insisted on taking one with me with Wig. The next year when I was back in Seoul for the 1st World Air Gun Championships, there was a display of photos from the 1978 World Shooting Championships. This was one of them. I liberated it and brought it back.
Carter Family, Marin County, CA, December 1978.
My third team was for the 1st World Air Gun Championships in Seoul, Korea in August 1979. We shot outdoors in the remnants of a typhoon. It was one of those days where I didn't have a hold worth a damn, but worked hard at it and was proud of what I did get. We won a team silver medal. Some days you have it, some days you don't. Just don't give up.
My fourth team was for the 2nd World Air Gun Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in August 1981. We again shot outdoors in the remnants of a hurricane. Again it was quite a struggle and my sole claim to fame was that I had the only "100" for one string in the whole match.
One of the two times I took hanggliding lessons at Kill Devil Hills, NC. While I was okay at it and it was fun, I could tell I wasn't ready for doing it off cliffs.
My fifth team was for the III Championships of the Americas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in November 1981. I shot Men's Air Rifle, Men's English Match, Men's 50m Free Rifle 3x40 and Men's 300m Standard Rifle winning four gold team medals and one silver individual medal.
Ray and his sister, Candy, at her wedding in Marin County, CA in Fall 1982. I was trying to switch to contact lens this year, but finally gave up the next month when I left them in a drawer in a hotel in Caracas, Venezuela.
My sixth team was for the 43rd World Shooting Championships in Caracas, Venezuela in November 1982. I shot Men's Air Rifle, Men's 50m Free Rifle 3x40, Men's 300m Free Rifle and Men's 300m Standard Rifle. This was quite an exhausting tournament as it was always windy and we shot elimination matches that counted for the team scores and then the individual matches for those medals. I shot a match every day for almost two weeks.
My seventh team was for the Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela in August 1983. I shot 300m Free Rifle 3x40. I ended up with a silver individual medal and a team gold medal.
1983 Pan American Games, Caracas, Venezuela
1983 Pan American Games Rifle Team, Caracas, Venezuela.
This is a picture of the route I climbed going up Devil's Tower in July 1983 with my college roommate, Frank Sanders. I had fried my camera a couple of weeks before on a float trip down the Salt River east of Phoenix, AZ and didn't get any shots. This is a picture Frank recently sent me of some climbers doing the same route.
Halloween 1983, Johnson City, Tennessee
ETSU Rifle Team in November 1983.
(My last team at ETSU.)
I finally finished getting my Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in December 1983 and started working for the International Shooter Development Fund (ISDF) at NRA Headquarters in Washington, DC.