Hawkins grew up in Michigan where he graduated from Bath High School in 1972. He went on to college at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he graduated in June 1976 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree as a Second Lieutenant. He spent ten years assigned to the United States Army Marksmanship Unit’s International Rifle Section where he competed in International Rifle Competitions and won numerous medals. He retired in June, 1996 and went on to Graduate School at Rollins College, Winter Park, Fla. to receive his Master of Business Administration Degree. He graduated number one in his class.
In 2001, Coach Hawkins was selected as the International Rifle Coach for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit and coached there until August 2013..
While a Coach at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit from February 2001 to August 2013, Coach Hawkins:
1) Had one of his team members win the 2002 World Championship in Men’s Air Rifle. At the 2004 Olympic Games, another team member won the Silver Medal in Men’s Three Position Rifle. This is the only Olympic Rifle Medal for an USAMU member in the past 42 years. After five successful years as the Rifle Coach, he was reassigned as the Pistol Coach. He went on to coach the pistol team to three National Team Championships. These are the first team championships the team has won in 25 years.
2) Went on to earn his PhD in Sports Science. Conducting seven original scientific research projects, with four being published in scientific peer-reviewed journals.
3) Was awarded a Class A International Judge’s License (eligible to coach in the Olympics), a Class A International Coach’s License (one of nineteen in the world with an ISSF Class A Licensed Coach, the highest coach certification that a shooting coach can earn). He received all coaching rifle and pistol certifications in the U.S. for the Olympic shooting sports.
4) Was selected as a Voluntary Assistant National Team Coach from 2002 to 2005. In which time he was selected as the U.S. Team Leader for five major International Championships competitions.
Coach Hawkins was selected as the new Pistol and Rifle Head Coach for the U.S. Coast Guard in August 2013. Since his arrival at the Academy, the Pistol and Rifle Team have taken on a new life in their training and competition development. Of primary importance is developing the incoming Cadets into accomplished competitors through state of the art equipment and scientific shooting techniques. This development will allow them to progress into their next level of performance. Developing these Cadets to the next level will allow the Coast Guard Academy to be competitive at the top of the Collegiate Rankings.
Coach Hawkins was elected in January 2017 to a four-year term for the Board of Directors and selected as the Treasurer for USA Shooting, the National Governing Body for Olympic Shooting.