JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Jacksonville State rifle coach Gerald “Gary” DeBoy passed away Thursday after suffering complications from a spinal cord injury from an accident more than eight years ago.

He served as rifle coach at Jacksonville State from 1988 until his accident in December of 2003, and helped make the Gamecock Rifle team one of the top programs in the nation. He also served as the director of the Jacksonville State ROTC program from 1988-92, retiring after 24 years in the United States Army Infantry.

“We are deeply sadden to learn of the passing of Coach DeBoy,” Jacksonville State president Dr. William A. Meehan. “Coach DeBoy was a tremendous asset to our University and helped build our Rifle team into one of the Top Rifle programs in the country. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Janie, and his children Robin and Jana.”

The Portland, Ind., native had the Gamecock Rifle Team ranked in the top 10 nationally for the final 10 years of his leadership. The JSU rifle program produced an All-American all but one year from 1992 until his accident in 2003, and the team advanced to the NCAA Championships seven times.

The Gamecocks posted a best-place finish of fifth place twice during his tenure, in 1998 and 2002.

DeBoy was named the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1995 and the National Rifle Association District College Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2003. He also was named the Great American Rifle Conference Coach of the Year in 2003, and the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2004. He received the NRA Distinguished College Coach Award in 1998 and in 2004. He also served on the NCAA Rifle Committee for several years, serving as Chairman of the committee in 2002.