May 17, 2024

Liz Schmeltzer named NU Head Rifle Coach

Posted May 17, 2024 1:10 PM

Story by NU Athletic Communications

Former NCAA National Champion and 11-time All-American Elizabeth “Liz” Schmeltzer has been named the eighth head coach of the University of Nebraska rifle program, Athletic Director Troy Dannen announced Thursday.

“When we were looking for someone to lead our rifle program, we wanted someone who understands what it takes to compete at the highest levels in the sport,” Dannen said. “Liz has a proven background as an 11-time All-American who has won individual and team national championships and has represented Team USA. She has worked with some of the best shooters in the sport since moving into the coaching ranks, and I believe she can continue to build on the success that Nebraska rifle has enjoyed in recent seasons.”

“I am very excited to be joining the Husker rifle program,” Schmeltzer said. “I think my experience as an athlete and coach will help this team grow. I am looking forward to working with the athletes and helping them achieve their goals.”

Schmeltzer comes to Lincoln after serving as a coach for Team Winning Solution in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the past two and a half years. In that role, she worked under two-time Olympian Lucas Kozeniesky helping coach elite-level shooters to prepare them for the collegiate ranks. Schmeltzer has coached athletes who have reached the finals in Junior Olympic meets as well as international matches.

Schmeltzer was a decorated athlete during her collegiate career, helping TCU to an NCAA team title in 2019 and top-three finishes in both 2018 and 2021. TCU qualified for the NCAA Championship all four seasons Schmeltzer was at the school.

As a senior, she qualified for the finals at the NCAA Championship in both disciplines, finishing fifth in the smallbore and sixth in the air rifle while earning first-team All-America honors in smallbore and second-team accolades in air rifle and aggregate. She ranked sixth nationally in smallbore average (586.6) and aggregate average (1,180.9) and seventh in air rifle average (594.3). Schmeltzer turned in a career-high 1,187 aggregate score (591 smallbore; 596 air rifle) at the NCAA Championships.

During her junior season, TCU was unable to defend its NCAA title because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but she was fifth in the NCAA in smallbore average and 11th in aggregate average en route to a pair of All-American certificates.

Schmeltzer helped lead TCU to its first national title in seven years in 2019, when she won an individual NCAA title in the smallbore. She shot in all 15 matches and ranked sixth nationally in smallbore, eighth in average aggregate and 14th in air rifle. As a freshman, she made an immediate impact in helping TCU to a third-place showing at the NCAA Championships. For her efforts, Schmeltzer was a second-team All-American in air rifle and claimed third-team honors in aggregate.

In addition to her college experience, Schmeltzer has competed for Team USA Shooting in international competitions, including the 2018 ISSF World Shooting Championships, where she helped Team USA to a silver medal in the smallbore and a bronze in the prone. She also shot for Team USA in the Hopes Match in 2018, where she won a gold medal in the smallbore and at the 2015 Pan American games, where she was a finalist in the air rifle. Schmeltzer will also be competing for Team USA in the upcoming 2024 World Cup event in Munich, Germany, from June 1-7 before coming to Lincoln.

A native of Searcy, Ark., Schmeltzer earned a degree in communications from TCU in 2021.