Rybka announces retirement as rifle coach

MOREHEAD, Ky. - Walt Rybka, who spent 20 seasons as the Morehead State rifle coach, recently announced his retirement.

"Coach Rybka has led the rifle program for 20 seasons without fanfare or a lot of attention," Director of Athletics Brian Hutchinson said. "He's done it with class and done it remarkably well. Filling his shoes will be very difficult. The loyalty he's shown isn't commonplace anymore. I'm grateful for his service and friendship."

Rybka, who helped Elizabeth Lyon (2009) and Ethan Cole (2014) to the NCAA Championships, was a two-time OVC Coach of the Year honoree (1997-98 and 1999-2000).

"After 20 years, I felt like it was time to move on and do some other things," Rybka said. "I really enjoyed working with the student-athletes and still do my best to keep up with them. It has been an enjoyable time."

Captain Hank Patton, MSU's original coach, brought Rybka in as an assistant in 1993-94 to help head up the re-birth of the program. He took over as head coach in 1995-96. During Rybka's tenure, numerous athletes have won conference and national awards, including the 1998-99 squad that claimed the best GPA among all collegiate teams.

Rybka is a 1971 graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in industrial education/secondary education. He also earned his master's degree in education in 1974 from EMU. He relocated to Kentucky in 1980 and has since been involved in a variety of trades, including extensive work with U.S. Forest Service.

Rybka first began competing in pistol at the age of 13 and has continued to hone his skills ever since. In 1997, he was crowned the Kentucky State Air Pistol Champion.

A life member of the National Rifle Association, Rybka has also earned several honors and distinctions in the shooting community. He is an associate member of USA Shooting and earned the Distinguished in Pistol Honor from Civilian Marksmanship Program. He is also a Master Instructor for hunter education in Rowan County.


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