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The WSU Bowling Team

From Our Story

From Mike Hoobler:

Bowling club.jpg
The WSU Bowling Club was actually started in 1952 when the CUB was renovated and the bowling lanes were installed. There is some evidence of a club as early as 1948 but they were bowling in a local bowling center.

The first team that actually went to the National Bowling tournament was in 1975 and they finished fourth. in the nation. Some of the members of those teams were: Steve Garl, Scott Burleigh, Steve Michaliszyn, Dale Grummert, Bruce Hammond. The coach was Reggie Fredericks.

Prior to the remodel of the CUB there was a WSU Bowling Club that met in the CUB Games area and practiced and competed in tournament there. There were also bowling classes that were given by the PE Department where kids could learn how to bowl and get a credit for it.

In 1976, Mike Hoobler became the manager of the Games Area, and was also the bowling coach/advisor. The teams under Mike's tutelage were very successful during his 27-year tenure. The men's team in 1982 were national champions, becoming only the third national champion for Washington State's history in all sports. The teams were participants in the national championship, both men or women, in 17 of the years under Mike's tenure. The women's teams were Association of College Union champions in 2002-2003 in Omaha, Nebraska.

They also had many individuals both men and women, that represented our University and our Association of College Unions Region XIV, which included Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

Scott Thomsen participated in the ACUI Individual Championships in two consecutive years. By winning the individual title, he was chosen to represent the United States in the World Cup of Bowling from all over the world. He bowled in Bogota, Colombia, Seoul, South Korea, & Copenhagen, Denmark. He also won the Las Vegas High Roller tournament which netted him a cool $200,000.

Recently, one of WSU's bowlers, Chris Aker bowled the 15th 900 series ever recorded in the sport of bowling in Winnemucca, Nevada. Bob Hanson recorded a 300 game in the United States Bowling Congress national tournament in 2011. Bryan Young, won the USBC Singles title in 2008.

As a club sport the members of the Bowling Club had to raise most of the money to participate in the many tournaments that they participated in. These tournaments included some in Nevada, California, Missouri, New York, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado. The money they raised to attend these tournaments was done by working concessions at football and basketball, spaghetti feeds, donations from some alumni, sports federation, parents association, President's office, and money from the members' and coaches' pockets.

The teams were always considered the ones to beat in our area and even across the country. They were constantly ranked in the top 10 of the monthly rankings.

The members of the teams became a pretty close knit group and the competition was pretty competitive as to who was going to go on the teams tournament trips. But to this day most of them have great memories of the time at WSU as a bowler and student. They took pride in being able to represent their university and they considered it an honor to represent WAZZU and the Crimson and Gray.

The team also had 17 marriages of members who actually met and bowled for WSU.

Of all the 500 plus bowlers who went through Mike Hoobler's era, almost or close to 98% of them went on to get their degrees and are successful throughout the United States and the world.

If you want a little more to read about the Washington State Magazine Winter issue featured a WSU bowler, Bob Hanson who bowled a 300 game in the USBC tournament, as mentioned above. If you go through the website mentioned in the article, which is: http://wsm.wsu.edu/extra/bowling you will find some very interesting pictures about the history of the WSU bowling club's history.

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