UTEP Names Andrea Palafox Head Rifle Coach - Photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics
UTEP Names Andrea Palafox Head Rifle Coach - Photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics

UTEP Names Andrea Palafox Head Rifle Coach

Andrea Palafox, a five-time All-American during a decorated rifle career at UTEP (2009-12), has been named head coach of the Miners, Vice President and Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced on Friday.

“We are thrilled to welcome Andrea back to the UTEP family as our new head coach,” Senter said.  “She brings some impressive credentials as a shooter and has developed recruiting connections not only in the Latin American community, but all over Europe.  She is the perfect fit to lead this program, as we strive to return UTEP Rifle to a standing among the nation’s elite teams.”

“I am thrilled and honored to be chosen as the head coach of the UTEP rifle team,” Palafox said.  “I want to thank the entire UTEP Athletics staff, and especially Director of Athletics Jim Senter, for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this new chapter in the history of the program.  But also, I could never have accomplished what I have without the inspiration and guidance from my father, Marcos Palafox Alcocer, and my trainer Anton Belak.

“It has always been my dream to return to my alma mater and share my knowledge and experiences with newer generations of student-athletes.  I look forward to building bonds with the members of the team, as well as UTEP supporters in the community.  I intend to work hard to build a team that can be competitive at the top national level.  My goal is to return the UTEP Rifle team to the National Championship.”

Palafox, who still competes professionally, earned All-American honors in air rifle in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, and smallbore in 2012.  She helped the Miners finish fifth as a team at the 2012 NCAA Championships, the best showing in school history.

Palafox was a standout in the classroom at UTEP as well, making the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll four times and the College of Liberal Arts Dean’s List in 2010.  She was also a member of UTEP’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

Palafox has coached for several years for the international Shooting Coach Online program, and more recently worked with CODE Guanajuato (Sports Commission of the State of Guanajuato).  She is also a partner of the Shootwatch app, a worldwide training program.  She has a Level I coach certification by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Palafox was a member of the Mexican National Team prior to coming to UTEP in 2008.  She has represented Mexico in 13 ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) World Cups, one world championship, two Championships of the Americas, two Pan American Games and two Central American Games during a distinguished competitive career.  She is currently ranked #1 in smallbore and #2 in air rifle in Mexico.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UTEP in 2012, and her Masters in Psychology of Physical Activities and Sports from Universidad de Educacion a Distancia in 2016.

A native of Guanajuato, Mexico, Palafox comes from a rifle family.  Her father, Marcos Palafox, was part of the Mexican National Team and later coached a team in Mexico.  Her brother, Marcos Palafox, shot for the Mexican National Team from 1999-2006.


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