Clarksville, Ark.-The Father-Daughter duo of Lance Brown and Grace Brown have been tabbed as the coaches of the clay target programs at the University of the Ozarks, it was announced by the athletic department Tuesday.
After a star-studded career that included a pair of national championships at Ozarks, Grace Brown will be the new head coach of the women's clay target team, while her father, Lance Brown, will be the new head coach of the men's clay target team.
The duo served as volunteer assistant coaches last season helping the program to its best finish (third) ever at the Association of College Unions International Collegiate (ACUI) National competition. Grace won the school's first national championship in 2017 with a title in International Bunker Trap. She followed up with another national championship in 2018, this time in International Trap. Lance has been an assistant coach with the women's and men's team for seven years where he has helped the program win three individual ACUI national championships.
"We are thrilled with hiring two coaches with this type of championship success and experience," said Athletics Director Jimmy Clark. "Not a lot of collegiate athletes can say they have won a national championship, let alone two, but Grace can. Her success in the sport speaks for itself. Lance has many years of collegiate experience and is known state-wide. He has coached champions at the collegiate and high school level. As I've said in the past, this program has championship expectations, and I believe Lance and Grace will carry this tradition on."
The duo replaces Caleb Hemphill, who stepped down to pursue a law enforcement career in Texas.
"I am excited to continue to be a part of the program," said Grace Brown. "Coaching is just as rewarding as competing. Watching a student hit their first target or busting the most difficult target out there is exciting as a coach. And, I feel like we are ready for a team national championship."
The Ozarks' program is unique in that it emphasizes developing its athletes in different disciplines.
"One thing that sets us apart is the fact that we have all-round shooters," said Grace Brown. "We want our athletes to put up good scores in each competition. We can teach them another discipline and help them improve, and that can help us win championships."
Lance has more than 20 years of combined experience at the collegiate and high school coaching level, and more than an decade ago, he assisted the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission with the implementation of the sport in Arkansas High Schools. In addition to his success at Ozarks, he has been the head coach at Booneville High School (Ark.) for 12 years and has produced numerous collegiate shooters during that span. He led Booneville to the 2015 Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program (AYSSP) state championship. This month, he will lead Booneville to the USA Clay Target League National Championships after the program finished second in the state.
"I expect big things out of our shooters," said Lance Brown. "We want to win a team national championship. That is the ultimate goal, to be number one in our division."
Grace received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Ozarks in 2018.
Ozarks offers the only shooting sports team in the state that is funded through an NCAA athletic department. The program continues to see success at the national level, with three individual ACUI national championships. The University offers trap, sporting clay, skeet, five stand, international and bunker shooting and competes in the Association of College Unions International organization.