James Sweeney has been involved in shooting sports for over 30 years. He is an active competitor and besides college coaching, directs the State of Ohio International Pistol Championships as well as leagues in air gun, action pistol and bullseye.
Sweeney served as interim coach for the Ohio State Pistol Team in 1986 and 1987, taking the team to the nationals both years. In 1999-2000, his first as head coach, the Buckeyes captured the National Collegiate Championships as well as winning national team titles in free pistol, standard pistol, women's air and sport pistol. Last season his women's team won the National Collegiate Championship for the third time in six years. Sweeney was named the NRA Distinguished Coach of the Year at the Champoinship.
Sweeney is a retired professor of sports pedagogy from The Ohio State University, working in the area of teacher preparation for most of his professional career while teaching college classes in rifle, pistol, archery, bicycling and backpacking. He was the OSU men's varsity assistant gymnastics coach from 1960 to 1962; the men's varsity gymnastics head coach at Washington State University from 1962 to 1966 and the men's varsity gymnastics head coach at Ohio State from 1966 to 1977 where he was honored as the NCAA Mid-East Coach of the Year in 1968.
Sweeney earned his B.S. from Ohio State in 1957 in physical education. After graduation he taught and coached in Erie, Mich. for the Mason Consolidated Schools. He returned to Ohio State in 1960 as an instructor and earned his master's degree in Curriculum Design that year. From 1962 to 1966 he was an assistant professor at Washington State University. During the summers he returned to Columbus and received his Ph.D. in sport pedagogy with a minor in educational psychology.
He returned to Ohio State in 1966 as an assistant professor and became an associate professor in 1979. Sweeney retired in 1994 but continues to teach with emeritus status.
One of Sweeney's greatest sources of pride is that of coaching three Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor winners, in two different sports at Ohio State: Bruce Trott in gymnastics, and Laura Murray and Jessica Marshall in pistol.
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