It took Hammond a couple of years to rebuild the program, but rebuild it he did. In 2009, the Mountaineers clawed their way back into the limelight by claiming their 14th national title.
Now they've done it again.
And they did it in grand style. The team's aggregate total of 4,679 was the second-highest ever recorded at the NCAA championships, and Zublasing became the first shooter since 2001 to capture individual titles in both smallbore and air rifle in the same year.
The individual titles were the second and third for Zublasing, who also won last year's air rifle title. The senior engineering major now plans to focus on international competition, with an eye toward representing her native Italy in the Olympics.
Had Kentucky not shot the lights out in 2011, WVU might be celebrating their third championship of the post-disbandment era. The Wildcats piled up a record-setting 4,700 points, 18 more than Alaska-Fairbanks had amassed during the 2006 tournament. WVU's runner-up total of 4,697 would have won any previous championship quite handily.
Clearly, Hammond has WVU's program rolling again. The Mountaineers are once again considered one of the nation's elite programs, and their success is sure to attract top-notch high school shooters eager to strut their skills at the collegiate level.
Perhaps the school's next goal should be to reward the squad by giving it a better place to shoot. The current WVU range, tucked into an upper floor of the Shell Building, has only 10 firing points, too few to host even a regional competition.
The WVU baseball team hasn't won diddly-squat, and it's getting a new stadium. It's time the school showed similar love for its 15-time champions.