Gunsite Academy, the world’s oldest premiere firearms training school is pleased to announce the addition of Shari LeGate as Director of Marketing to the Gunsite team.
LeGate, a long-time industry professional comes to this newly created position from FMG Publications, where she held various positions, the most recent as Video Producer and contributing writer to their numerous firearm publications.
LeGate brings with her an extensive knowledge of marketing, promotion and the shooting sports. A former shooting sports champion, Legate spent 12 years as a member of the U.S. Shooting shotgun team representing the USA worldwide winning numerous medals and earning the International Distinguished Shooting Badge from the Department of Defense.
Prior to her success on the field, LeGate studied marketing and broadcast journalism at Arizona State University. Upon retirement from competition, LeGate was recruited as Executive Director for the Women’s Shooting Sports Foundation. Creating the “A Day At The Range” a program introducing over 30,000 women to the shooting sports she was named “2001 Shooting Industry Person of the Year”.
Beginning her broadcast career at Group W Broadcasting (now CBS), LeGate started her career writing copy and voicing commercials, eventually hosting her own show, “Pull, Tour of America’s Great Clubs”. She was the shooting sports analyst for ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games and was instrumental in bringing the ACUI National Championships to national television. In her spare time, she is the color commentator for the summer Olympic Games shooting sports.
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After watching 1984 Olympic champion Matt Dryke shoot an exhibition match on television in 1986, LeGate, signed up for shooting lessons at her local club. For her first lesson she was handed a 20-gauge club gun, told to put cotton in her ears, and given a builder’s apron to tie around her waist. She then was directed to a group of elderly men on the shooting field and told, “Go out there and those guys will show you how to shoot.”
LeGate went on to shoot American skeet with that group of men every weekend for eight months, and her aptitude for the sport quickly became apparent. Within a year she was competing in the Kachina Open, where she found herself in the bronze medal shoot-off against none other than Dryke. She lost to the former Olympic champion, finishing fourth.
Ready for a new challenge, LeGate switched from shooting American skeet to Olympic International skeet. In 1993, however, the International Shooting Union eliminated the women’s Olympic skeet event, replacing it with a new Olympic sport, women’s double trap. Unfazed, LeGate made the transition to double trap and won a slot on the U.S. Shooting Team in 1993. That same year she won the gold medal in women’s double trap at the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival. The following year she took the silver medal at the World Cup in Havana, Cuba; won the U.S. national championship, and earned a berth in the prestigious, invitation-only World Cup Finals in Munich, Germany winning a bronze medal. For her accomplishments, LeGate was awarded the International Distinguished Shooting Badge by the Department of Defense in 1994.
In 1995, as a member of the Pan American Women’s Double Trap team, LeGate finished fourth and later that year won the gold medal in the U.S. All Around Shotgun Championships. She retired from international competition in 1996, competing in just the U.S. National Championships, winning a silver medal in 1996 and gold medal in 1997. Though LeGate still was competing as a member of the U.S. Shooting Team in 1997, she was offered the position of Executive Director of the Women’s Shooting Sports Foundation and viewed her role with WSSF as a calling. It was time to give something back to the sport. During her tenure with the WSSF, she created numerous programs and manuals instructing women in the shooting sports.