Your three-person team has 60 seconds to shoot six arrows. You step to the line and fire two arrows while your teammates cheer. When your last shot hits the target, you get off the line as a teammate takes your place, a carefully choreographed move. It’s a heart-pounding 60 seconds where three individuals shoot as a single cohesive unit.
Archery is usually an individual sport, but collegiate archery is different. While there is an individual competition, the team rounds and team atmosphere are unique to collegiate archery, which hosts a proud tradition of competition and school spirit.
If you’re planning your college career, archery can improve your experience and create lasting memories and friendships. As you’re filling out college applications, take a look at the many excellent college archery programs. To make your job easier, here’s the dean’s list of top archery schools.
James Madison University
Tucked away in Virginia’s Shenandoah valley James Madison University’s (JMU) campus is lined with local blue stone and picturesque buildings. One of the best-kept secrets on campus is its world-class practice facilities and winning archery program. The school hosts a large indoor and dedicated 70-meter outdoor practice range. With these excellent facilities, the student-athletes train into champion form. JMU has produced national champions, world champions and Olympic medalists. Head coach Andy Puckett won the 2017 Collegiate Archery Program National Head award.
If there’s one team to beat in collegiate archery, it’s Texas A&M University. The team’s trophy case is packed full of championships, and many legendary archers have worn the Aggies’ maroon jersey. Olympic medalist and collegiate national champion Vic Wunderle is one notable Aggie. This storied program has indoor and outdoor ranges so the Aggie archers can continue their winning tradition. At the 2017 National Outdoor Collegiate Championship, Texas A&M won the overall team title for the 19th time.
You wouldn’t expect New York City to be the home of a dominant archery team but luckily, Columbia University has several urban archery ranges in the area. The archers on the women’s varsity teams certainly get their practice because they won gold in the recurve and compound division at the 2017 National Outdoor Collegiate Championships (NOCC). Contact coach Derek Davis for more information on the Columbia archery team.
Michigan State is home to an impressive archery team and even offers scholarships for archers. The Spartans practice at a world-class training facility, the Demmer Center, which has 3-D, field, indoor and outdoor ranges. All-Americans and champion archers have walked the Michigan State campus including its 2017 men’s compound team who won the 2017 NOCC men’s compound title in a thrilling fashion. Michigan State was in a shoot-off with Northern Arizona University who posted an impressive three arrow score of 29 points, one point from perfect. But Michigan State were destined to be the champions, the Spartan team answered with a perfect score to bring home the title.
Emmanuel is a relative newcomer to the collegiate archery world, but the school is taking on the established powerhouses. At the 2017 NOCC, it edged out JMU and finished second in the overall team standings, just behind Texas A&M. Emmanuel College is a varsity archery program offering scholarships for promising archers. The program is led by head coach Rodney Estrada and offers 3-D, indoor and outdoor archery facilities.