Bret Erickson '78


Join us in congratulating Bret Erickson, this year's Distinguished Alumni of the Year! Bret has achieved something no other alumnus has: competing in the Olympic Games. He then accomplished that feat three more times! 

Bret Erickson is a 1978 graduate of Bennington High School. Like many in the area, he grew up hunting with his father and brother…but Bret perfected his abilities in shooting sports to become a world-class marksman AND achieve something no other Bennington alumnus ever has: compete in the Olympic Games. He then accomplished that feat three more times!

Brett graduated from Midland University in 1982 with a degree in business administration and joined the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in 1983. He went on to spend the next 25 years on the national stage as a member of the USA Shooting National Team. In addition to representing the United States at the summer Olympics in 1992 (Barcelona, Spain), 1996 (Atlanta, Georgia), 2004 (Athens, Greece) and 2008 (Beijing, China), he was a two-time World Clay Target Championships silver medalist in Men’s Double Trap; a four-time World Championship medalist, including the gold in Double Trap in 1990; a five-time Pan American Games medalist, including the gold in 1995; and a six-time USA Shooting national champion.

In 1998, Bret’s father passed away during the world team selection. Despite that devastating loss, he made the team in Men’s Double Trap and then retired in 1999. In 2001, Bret made a comeback and not only made the world team, but won a silver medal. In 2004, he made the U.S. Olympic team, but five weeks before the Olympics, his heart stopped during a run with his teammates. His teammates were able to get his heart going again and the doctors installed a pacemaker. Four weeks later, Bret competed at the Olympics in Athens, Greece.

He retired from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in 2005 and, since then, has used his skills to teach and develop other shooters — coaching everyone from beginners to Olympic medalists.

For several years, Bret managed the Willawalla Creek Shooting Center in Muenster, Texas, where he coached junior athletes and volunteered with the local 4-H. He also worked with the National Collegiate Shooting Sports Athletic Association to train and certify youth coaches around the country.

From 2010 to 2012 he served as the national shotgun coach and was head of the resident athlete program at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. While there, he coached the USA National Team, National Development Team and National Junior Team athletes in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics and various international competitions.

In 2012, Bret created the shotgun sports program at Midland University and led it to national prominence before retiring in 2020. He currently serves as the director of coaching and curriculum for FutureU Sports Corp.

Bret Erickson is a four-time Olympian, a former world champion and world record holder, and a nationally renowned expert in his field. 


  • 2008 Beijing World Cup (Olympic Test Event) bronze medalist in Men's Trap
  • 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Shooting (Shotgun), first place in Men's Trap, qualifying for a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team
  • 2007 Pan American Games Silver Medalist in Men's Trap
  • 2004 Olympic Games, 13th in Men's Double Trap
  • 2001 World Clay Target Championships Silver Medalist in Men's Trap
  • 1996 Olympic Games, 13th in Men's Trap
  • 1995 Pan American Games Silver Medalist in Men's Trap
  • 1992 Olympic Games, 16th in Men's Trap and 22nd in Men's Double Trap
  • 1991 World Clay Target Championships Silver Medalist in Men's Double Trap
  • 1990 World Championships Gold Medalist and World Record Holder in Men's Double Trap


Bret will be recognized for the Distinguished Alumni Award at the BPS Foundation Annual Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 23, 2023 at BHS auditorium at 2pm. If you would like to join the ceremony, RSVP here.

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