What do Hawaii, California, Florida and the Midwest have in common? The answer can be found at Oak Lanes Bowling Center where 22 student-athletes representing six different states are preparing for Huntington University’s upcoming bowling season.
Second-year head coach Jim Bischoff had a busy year of recruiting, and he’s proven there’s no distance too far to bring in quality athletes for HU’s bowling
Six new faces sprinkle the women’s roster that returns four quality bowlers while 10 rookies dominate the men’s squad that features two returners.
While Bischoff spends hours watching high school practices, matches and tournaments in addition to making countless phone calls to potential recruits, the secret to his success is all in his perspective.
“I want potential recruits to understand that if they come to Huntington, they come to get a great education first to set themselves up for their future.
“I’m passionate about these young men and women making the right decision for themselves. We have an awesome school, a strong Christian foundation and great academics, and I want both students and parents to know who we are and what we offer,” he said.
The proof is in the pudding as a quick glance at Bischoff’s rosters verifies that his recruiting process works. Just ask twins Dan and Joe Miller.
Bischoff liked what he saw when he received a video of Dan through a recruiting service and was quick to learn of the potential 2-for-1 deal that existed with this set from Cocoa, Fla. While Dan and Joe weren’t necessarily planning to attend the same school, a visit to campus in January of their senior year affirmed their decision to attend HU.
Having bowled since the age of 5 only because their mom “stuck them in a bowling league for something to do,” the talented duo stayed with it despite no formal coaching until their sophomore year at Space Coast High School when the county adopted bowling as an official sport.
The best is probably yet to come for the Miller pair as evidenced by the dramatic improvement each one experienced once high-school-coach-turned-personal-coach Matt Giangarra started working with them.
Both bowlers ended their prep career averaging more than 200 — 50 pins more than their pre-coaching days — and it’s obvious the impact they’ll have on the Forester squad will be immediate.
Despite the learning curve of adjusting to the tough collegiate lane conditions, the boys feel their team will surprise a lot of people and already have their sights set on a sectional berth, a sentiment that lines up with Bischoff.
“The men’s team this season will have a whole different look and will compete at a much higher level at each tournament,” he said. “With the returning players and added experience and depth, I think they have the potential to really compete in each tournament and qualify for sectionals this season.”
The proof is in the pudding, and it won’t be long before the Miller twins and the rest of the Forester bowling squad will have the chance to prove this phrase true.