1939 - 2008
Lifetime Achievement, Contributor to the Sport
, Influence on the Sport
"It is not
the destination, but the journey."
In the nineteen sixties a
young man from Easton
had a dream.
That dream was that some day there would be an archery hall of
fame to honor those
deserving in the sport of archery. In 1972,
together with Joe Rusinek, that dream became reality and in 2008
Dave Staples was the first person since the hall's inception to
be inducted in the Lifetime Achievement Category as well as for
Contributor to the Sport and Influence on the Sport.
Dave traced his beginnings in archery back to the age of 13,
when his uncle, Paul Merwarth mentored him into the sport of
bowhunting. Dave joined his uncle hunting whitetails in the
farmlands of central New Jersey. Merwarth, who also owned an
archery shop, gave Dave his first job in the retail archery
business....sweeping floors. Having mastered that, Dave was
introduced to the nuances of fletching arrows and making
bowstrings. As his interest grew, he soon found himself a
participant in both field and target archery at local, state and
At age 20, he started writing about the sport. It was not long
before he was named Assistant Editor of Bowhunting Magazine.
Dave’s byline at sometime appeared in virtually every archery
magazine in operation from the nineteen fifties through the
seventies. In 1987 he co-authored the book Peak Performance
Archery with master coach, mentor and friend, Al Henderson.
Over his 50-plus years of involvement in the sport, he worked
tirelessly to promote archery and bowhunting. His many
radio and television show guest appearances over the years
exposed thousands to the diversity of the sport and promoted it
as a lifetime activity.
As an archery lanes operator, he also introduced thousands of
archers to the sport of bowhunting and the many forms of
competitive archery. Through his business, he also sponsored a
vibrant Junior Olympic Archery Development Program (JOAD)
developed by the National Archery Association as the original
feeder system for the Olympics. The Spectre program mentored
hundreds of kids in the sports, some of whom went on to NAA
amateur and collegiate competition and many of whom continued to
participate for years to come.
In 1996, Dave was elected president of the Archery Hall of Fame.
Since its inception he has served the hall in every
administrative post during the organizations 38 year
history. His administrative efforts and fundraising helped grow
the Hall from what was originally, a committee of the American
Archery Council, to an independent, non profit organization. His
work assisted in establishing the Hall its permanent home in Springfield
“The Father of the Archery Hall of Fame"
The following is a poem written by
AHOF Executive Director, Diane Miller
On June 18th, 2008
In Memory Of
Today I have to say goodbye to you, “My Special Friend”
Our bond was formed many years ago, and was true until the end
Your agenda was a special one, Your passion, “The Hall of Fame”
The Archery World will carry on, but will never be the same
Your mission wasn’t finished, there was so much more to do
So many dreams were shattered, on the day that we lost you
You will forever be my mentor, I learned so much from you
As I face life’s challenges, I’ll do exactly what you would
You taught me so many things, Stand Firm, Don’t, question why
The one thing that you didn’t do, was teach me how to say
The chain has now been broken, but we will carry on your quest
until our mission is completed and we too, are laid to rest
This year you’ll be inducted into The Archery Hall of Fame
I can already see you smiling as MR calls out your name
we meet again......
Al Henderson, Karl Palmatier, Diane Miller, and Dave Staples
Notes of Interest:
Co-Founder and President of the Archery Hall of Fame &
President of the Professional Archers Association
Vice President of the American Archery Council
A Founding Member of the Archery Lane Operators Association
Karl E. Palmatier Award of Merit , 1978
Served as Director of the PAA's Advanced International
Coaching Program, 1969 to 1974
Member of The World
Archery Center’s Senior Coaching Staff,
1976 thru 1985.
1960 to 1980 Coached 49 Students to State, Regional and
Involved in the Sport of Archery for More Than 50