Sharp shooting and TCU cowboy boots are two things that led President Obama to nationally recognize the university’s rifle team.
Members of the university rifle team joined 32 other schools Monday on the South Lawn of the White House for a celebration of 2009-10 NCAA Championship teams and, of course, they wore their TCU cowboy boots.
Ross Bailey, associate director of athletics, said the TCU rifle team was one of two teams the president individually recognized.
Chancellor Victor Boschini said the event was a once in a lifetime experience.
“We were on the South Lawn for three and a half hours and it seemed like ten minutes,” Boschini said.
During the speech, Obama said the 650 student athletes present were the most athletic talent the White House has ever had on the South Lawn. He joked that the sharp shooters from the rifle squad might be able to give the Secret Service a run for its money.
Coach Karen Monez said it was a great thrill to be recognized in the speech. She said the entire trip will be cherished for a long time to come.
The president was not to be left out as the university gave him his own pair of TCU cowboy boots 8212; Bailey said he thought everyone had “boot envy.”
Bailey said the team got the chance to speak with Obama as he passed through the crowd and one member of the team, Simone Riford, was able to connect with the president. Riford attended the same high school in Hawaii that Obama did and brought along her high school class ring to show him.
The Horned Frog rifle team is the first all-female national rifle championship winner in NCAA, history according to the NCAA website.
Mark Cohen, director of athletic media relations, said the team represented the university well academically as well as athletically.
“It was a very fitting end and recognition for their national championship,” Bailey said.