Lt. Col. (Ret.) William F. Bither enters his sixth season as head coach of the VMI men's and women's rifle teams after accepting the position in the summer of 2013.
He previously served Army ROTC at Virginia Military Institute twice. During his first assignment to VMI, he was the Military Science IV Branch Chief/Detachment Operations Officer from 1996-1999 and during his second tour served as the Military Science I Branch Chief/Detachment Executive Officer from 2001-2005.
The Keydets are coming off a great season in which the mixed team placed third at the SoCon Championship led by All-SoCon Second Team smallbore honorees Hunter Jacob and John Pitman, who placed seventh and ninth, respectively, in the league standing for the event.
In 2017 the men's team placed second at the SoCon Championships and the women came in fifth. Senior Andrew Hickey earned first team All-Conference honors in both the smallbore and the air rifle, while freshmen William Davidson (1st team, smallbore) and Hunter Jacob (first team, air rifle) also earned All-Conference accolades. On the women's team, junior Samantha Alexander earned second team All-SoCon honors in the air rifle after placing eighth in the finals for the event at the SoCon Championships in early March.
In 2014-15, the Keydets won the smallbore competition at the MAC Championships with a score of 2210 to top M.I.T.'s 2188.
Bither graduated from North Georgia College in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Education from James Madison and is also a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College.
In January 1984, His first troop assignment was as a rifle platoon leader in the 2nd Infantry Division, South Korea. In January 1985, he returned stateside and served as a Mortar Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer and Battalion Assistant S4 in the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Lewis, Washington. From May 1985 until May 1989, he performed duties as an Operations Officer and commanded a Motorized Rifle Company in 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington. Then, from July 1990 until August 1991, he attended Special Forces Assessment and Selection followed by the Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, N.C.
In 1991, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Bither reported to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, Germany and served as a Special Forces Detachment Commander from 1991-1994. In August 1994, he was reassigned to Fort Bragg and assumed command of a Special Forces Company in 3rd Special Forces Group. In 2001, following his initial assignment to VMI, he returned to Ft Bragg as a member of the 18th Airborne Corps, Special Operations Coordination Element.
In April 2005, he was reassigned to Combined Forces Command, South Korea as the Division Chief for Ulchi Focus Lens Exercise Branch. From 2006-2008, he attended the Joint Forces Staff College and was assigned as the Special Operations Plans Officer, Joint Forces Command, Suffolk, Virginia and Army Liaison Officer to I MEF (Marine Expeditionary Force), Fallujah, Iraq.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Bither’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (5th Award), Army Commendation Medal (6th Award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Iraq Campaign Medal (2nd Award) and the Korean Defense Service Medal. He is also authorized to wear the Master Parachutist Badge, Ranger and Special Forces tabs.
Following his retirement from active duty in 2009, he worked as a military analyst/trainer for two major defense contracting corporations in the Hampton Roads area for over two years.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Bither is married to the former Cynthia J. Harris of Covington, GA. They have three children: Lisa, Will and Josh.