Since Bob Jones University reentered intercollegiate sports in 2012, several new teams have been added to the Bruins athletics including intercollegiate shooting.
Dr. Mike Wilkie, coach of the Bruins shooting team, brings an extensive amount of experience to his coaching. Since 1988, Wilkie has served in several different law enforcement positions, including training with the Israel State Police as a delegate of the 17th Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange, serving on the executive board of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, and serving as president of the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association. Adding a shooting team to the university’s intercollegiate sports gives a different angle on recruitment for BJU.
“We offer something some schools don’t,” Dr. Wilkie said.
In the spring of 2015, the Bruins formed a shooting sports club with the intention of eventually forming an intercollegiate team.
In Talladega, Alabama, the Bruins competed at a national shooting competition in March. They competed alongside several prominent schools such as West Point, Michigan State, Florida, Texas A&M and Kentucky.
The Bruins shooting team will be using .22 caliber and 9mm handguns as well as .22-caliber rifles. Some of the team will be shooting Glock 9mms as well as a SIG Sauer SP2022. They will shoot at steel targets, which are standard for intercollegiate shooting.
“Just like any college sport, shooting has its own culture,” Dr. Wilkie said.
David Smith, captain of the shooting team, added that everyone in intercollegiate shooting is friendly, and that most are eager to learn from their fellow competitors.
Smith said he joined the team because he likes to shoot and he also plans on having a career in law enforcement.
Nathanael Seibert, Stephen Snow and Nathaniel Haefka attributed people and camaraderie as their reasons for joining the team.
Dr. Wilkie said the goals for the shooting team are to honor Christ as they compete with other universities, to connect with others in the firearms community and most importantly, to make the shooting team a ministry platform to let the Gospel’s light shine.