Becomes First Freshman In Program History To Earn Bid
Valerie Boothe is in her 17th season as head coach of the Ole Miss rifle program. The only coach in school history, Boothe was hired prior to the start of the 1996-97 season when rifle became a varsity sport at Ole Miss.
"Valerie is a hard worker who is very passionate about the sport of rifle," Executive Associate Athletics Director, Lynnette Johnson says. "Her loyalty and dedication have been very obvious over the past 13 years. She is well-respected in her sport and continues to work to maintain our program in the national spotlight.
"This program was built from the ground up and all of the credit goes to Valerie. She has been quick to assemble one of the most respected programs in the country. We are very proud to have her as our head coach and I am excited about our team this year."
From the start, Boothe had a vision. Knowing that the program would begin as a work-in-progress, she was willing to put in the time and effort for a chance at having long-term success. Now, as the team prepares for its 16th season, it seems as if Boothe's long hours, positive attitude and patience have paid off. The program enters the 2012-13 campaign with a strong foundation of seven letterwinners returning and an eye towards earning an berth in the NCAA Championships.
"We have a very talented group returning for this season as well as a fresh face to the team. We know what we want out of this season and will work until we get it," said Boothe.
Last season, Boothe guided sophomore Abbey Stanec to the school's second, second place finish at the NCAA Championships. In 15 seasons at Ole Miss, Boothe has helped several individuals to a variety of accolades. In 2008, Shannon Wilson became the second Rebel to win a conference title when she claimed the smallbore crown at the GARC Championships. Jennifer Lorenzen claimed the combined title just one year before. Two All-American in the last season as well as nine Academic All-American.
Boothe also guided current Rebels Keely Stankey and Erica Swanson to top-10 finishes in the air rifle at the 2009 U.S. Junior Olympics. She has tutored numerous athletes to success at the Junior Olympic level, including helping lead Wilson to gold in the smallbore at the 2006 U.S. Junior Olympics.
Under Boothe's watch, Ole Miss Rifle had its most successful season ever in 2005-2006. The Rebels earned their first ever appearance in the NCAA Championships, attained the program's first NCAA sectional victory and saw Ole Miss set or tie school records for team aggregate, air rifle and smallbore scoring, as well as individual air rifle and smallbore marks. Shannon Wilson was named the program's first first-team All-American by the National Rifle Association and Jennifer Lorenzen picked up her second consecutive All-America honor. In all Boothe's club has received seven All-American Awards. In 2006, Boothe was recognized as National Coach of the Year by the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association.
The program has continued to excel both at the range and in the classroom as evidenced by the fact that Boothe has coached 32 different student-athletes to All-Academic honors. Last season, eight players including six returners-Coffey, Goodwin,Virginia Holman, Quartarone, Stankey and Alivia Yeager earned College Rifle Coaches' Association All-Academic honors.
In 2008, Casey Phillips earned second-team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, the first such honor in program history. Phillips, a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
A native of Livingston, Tenn., Boothe was a collegiate shooter at UT-Martin from 1992 to 1996. She won the Tennessee State Smallbore title in 1994 in addition to capturing four Tennessee State Air Rifle championships from 1993 to 1996. Boothe also competed in the Junior Olympics on four different occasions.
Boothe has served as a member of several national committees, including the NCAA Rifle Committee from 2002-07 and NRA Collegiate Programs Committee. After serving as the NCAA's interim chairperson in 2003-04, Boothe was promoted to full-time chair the following year and now is serving as a committee chair on the NCAA Committee.
Boothe earned a bachelor's degree in social work from Ole Miss in 1997. She also holds an NRA coaches certification and is a member of the Oxford-University Methodist Church.
She and her husband, Christopher, reside in Oxford and have two daughters -- Sarah and Olivia.
Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games. Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more
Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more
Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more
With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more
While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more
In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more
Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more
Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 24-30, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.- The Rebels finish the... read more
Ole Miss collected a lot of hardware over the weekend, as the football team reclaimed the Egg Bowl trophy and the men's and women's basketball returned home with regular-season tournament championship. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week... read more