Collegiate Bowling Coaches – A Rare Breed
The 2000-2001 season will mark my 34th as the Head Coach of the Erie C.C. Program. Over the 34
seasons, I have learned one real truth about the bowling coaches’ fraternity. They are a breed of their own, a dinosaur
within the overall coaching fraternity. The reason I state this is the answer to the question, “why do they do it year
Do they do it for the money? I know of only two coaches in the entire country who are employed as
full time bowling coaches by their institutions and who earn enough doing it to support a family. There are a few others
and I mean a few who have coaching listed as a responsibility of their overall job. There are many that receive a stipend to
coach. In most cases this stipend amounts to just enough to pay for the gas the coach burns going back and forth to practice or
taking the players home after events. There are many coaches who get zippo-zilch-zero; in fact spend their own money to travel
If you enjoy burning vacation time from your “real job”, leaving your family 10-15 weekends
a year including Thanksgiving, jumping in a car or van driving 6-12 hours in all kinds of weather to get to an event then turn
around two days later and do it all over again; then you enjoy the traveling coaching a college bowling team offers.
C. Media Exposure
The media exposure most college coaches get are: finding your team results in agate sized print of the
local paper, your campus paper recognizing you exist, the local TV station giving you 30 seconds if you win the National Championships, but don’t finish second.
With the exception of very, very few; every college bowling coach returns year after year because of their
passion for the game, for their interest in the kids and for the biggest perk of all. A sincere thanks you for the effort from one
of the players when their career ends.
The scary pare is collegiate bowling coaches or I should say people who want to be collegiate bowling coaches
are becoming dinosaurs. If a long time basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey,etc… coach announces he/she is soon to retire at a
college, the application list is sometimes of phone book proportions. How many are drooling to become the next bowling coach?
If you are a collegiate player today at one of the largest percentage of campuses across the country, you
should give your coach a hug today because he/she may be the only person keeping your opportunity alive. Just take a look at history.
Where are the once strong programs at William Paterson for women, Univ. of Buffalo men and women, Armstrong State men, Liberty men,
San Jose State men and women and a host of other blasts from the past. The all are either gone completely or drastically different
because their long time coach left and no one came knocking at the door.
Have I always agreed with every coach I have met? Have they always agreed with me? No way! Do I respect
every coach I ever met? Absolutely! When I see them I know why they are there. It’s not the money, it’s not the
travel, and it’s not the media exposure. It’s for their love of the game and the enjoyment of their players. Without
them I never would have had the enjoyment I have had for 34 years.