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March 10, 2012

Ryder Receives Thompson Medal of Honor

Harrisonburg, VA - James Madison University archery coach Bob Ryder, one of the country's most distinguished collegiate archery coaches, has been presented today with the Thompson Medal of Honor at the National Indoor Championships taking place at James Madison University.  Denise Parker, USA Archery CEO, was present for the award presentation, as well as several JMU archery team alums and members of Ryder's family.

The prestigious Thompson Medal of Honor was established by USA Archery (then known as the National Archery Association) in 1939 and is reserved for those who have "rendered outstanding and meritorious service to archery without expectation of award." The Thompson Medal of Honor is considered to be one of the most cherished honors conferred by USA Archery.

Ryder served on the former NAA Board of Governors from 1980-1986, and was vice president of the former NAA from 1981-1986. He was one of the parties responsible for the creation of U.S. Olympic Team Selection Procedures, as well as the creation of the U.S. Archery Team (USAT). Ryder was also instrumental in the development of the NAA Foundation, which manages the financial resources of USA Archery to ensure availability of funds for future archery development.  

A national judge, certified Level 3 coach, and multi-time tournament director, Ryder has also participated in high level speaking and promotional efforts, providing outreach to media outlets such as ABC, CBS and NBC Sports, ESPN and Sports Illustrated. Ryder has received the Coach of the Year and Margaret Klann Awards numerous times, and has served as the head coach of the JMU Archery Team since 1992, coaching many archers to National Championship and World Championship teams and medals. 

"In addition to the impressive history of his contributions, as well as is personal archery achievements, Bob is recognized by all who have been associated with him for his consummate dedication and tireless support of this organization," noted Christine McCartney, who nominated Ryder for the award. "I met Bob in 1982 while serving (on) the NAA Board of Governors and have always regarded him not only as a thoughtful visionary and hard worker but a gentleman of high integrity and an exceptional caretaker of fair play both on and off the field."

Denise Parker, CEO of USA Archery explained that there is not a more deserving individual: "Bob is one of those few people you meet and have the pleasure to be around who truly cares about others long before he cares about himself. Archery has been so blessed to have him involved in our sport. If you have been in this sport long enough, you have been touched in some way by the work of Bob Ryder and I personally thank him for all the tireless effort on behalf of us all."

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