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Hayhurst family makes major gift to WVU rifle

WVU Rifle Championship Trophies

West Virginia University graduates and supporters, the Hayhurst family, have contributed a major gift of $1 million to the WVU rifle program.

The donation will name the head rifle coaching position in perpetuity. Additionally, this gift will go to assist the rifle team’s greatest needs.

"I would like to thank the Hayhurst family for their generosity and the impact their gift will have on our rifle program,” Senior Associate Athletics Director/Executive Director MAC Patrick Gray said. “Time and time again, the Hayhurst family have stepped up to support many of our programs and doing so in this manner will ensure WVU rifle has the resources needed to compete at the highest level nationally."

“We are very thankful to the Hayhurst family for their generous gift,” WVU coach Jon Hammond said. “Their amazing generosity will help us in several different areas, as we continue to compete for conference and NCAA championships. More importantly, this gift will open up new opportunities to do new things and continue to build upon the great tradition of the Mountaineer rifle program.”

As natives of West Virginia who grew up in Buckhannon, the Hayhurst family have been longtime supporters of West Virginia University and Mountaineer Athletics. Additionally, the family has long admired the great success and rich history of the WVU rifle program, which owns a nation-best 19 NCAA titles.

During the 2022 WVU Sports Hall of Fame ceremony, the Hayhurst family was inspired by former coach Marsha Beasley’s induction speech.

The Hayhurst family is pleased to continue their long-term support of both WVU athletics and academics with this gift to the WVU rifle team, to ensure continued support for coach Hammond and his coaches and staff, as they continue their successes not only at shooting matches, but in the classroom.

The brothers, Ronald, the late Robert, and the late Robin Hayhurst, were all first-generation college graduates who all earned degrees at WVU. Ronald earned his degree in accounting, while Robert and Robin earned degrees in sport management at the former College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences (now College of Applied Human Sciences). 

Their passion for WVU athletics and academics has trickled down to the next generation as Robert’s daughter, Christine Hayhurst Davis, is a WVU Industrial Engineering graduate, who now runs the Hayhurst family’s business enterprise. The entire Hayhurst family have been avid supporters of WVU athletics and enjoy watching WVU teams compete.

“The WVU rifle team, under the leadership of coach Hammond and his coaches and staff, has done a tremendous job in attracting and developing members of the rifle team to ensure their success both athletically and academically,” Davis said. “Our family is happy to continue to support the rifle program into the future, as they continue to represent all West Virginians and their passion for shooting sports on the world’s stage.”

Growing up in West Virginia, Ronald, Robert and Robin were all exposed to hunting and shooting sports from an early age and understood first-hand the importance and pride that West Virginians have for these activities. Robert served in the United States Marine Corps during Vietnam.

In 2020, the Robert Hayhurst Shooting Sports Complex opened at WVU Jackson’s Mill. This new, state-of-the-art complex allows youths to participate in education and training activities, as well as serves as a host site for statewide events for youth competitions.

The Hayhurst family’s gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University and its affiliated entities.

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