The establishment of recognition for bowling coaches/instructors may lead to the creation of a hall of fame By John Jowdy



    ColumnistJohnJowdy.jpg In my opinion, the new attention being paid to bowling coaches is one of the most deserving endeavors for the game. After all, the development of coaches/instructors has become one of the most significant undertakings in the bowling industry for the past 10 years.

    How better can the industry display appreciation for individuals like veteran coaches Dick Ritger, Bill Bunetta, Tom Kouros, Fred Borden, Bill Taylor, Ron Hoppe, and others who have paved the way for spreading the bowling gospel all over the world?

    The Skills Center, a division of Strike Ten Entertainment (a segment of the Bowling Proprietors Association of America) issued a press release announcing the establishment of recognition for bowling coaches/instructors through the presentation of an award; The National Coaching/Instructors Award, which will honor an outstanding coach/instructor. This award, in all likelihood, may also lead to the creation of a hall of fame for deserving coaches and instructors.

    A task force has been formed to develop criteria for this award. The task force will be headed by BPAA president elect Jim Sturm as chairman, along with a panel of distinguished coaching leaders and bowling writers from around the country.

    The panel includes Dave Garber, USBC co-director of coaching; Susie Minshew, president IBPSIA, Bob Rea, director of coaching for the Dick Ritger Academy; Kelly Bednar, director of STE Skills Center, and bowling writers Dick Evans and Jim Goodwin.

    Today, the torch is being carried on by such outstanding coaches as Susie Minshew, Jeanette Robinson, Jeri Edwards, Rod Ross, Bill Spigner, Carmen Salvino, Rolf Gauger, Bill Hall, John Fantini, Bill Holt, Joe Slowinski, plus many others too numerous to mention.

    This latest undertaking further demonstrates John Berglund's organizational expertise. Several months ago, I praised the tremendous strides made by the BPAA under the leadership of Executive-Director John Berglund.

    Prior to Berglund's tenure as Executive-Director, most BPAA members were content to operate as a separate entity, with little or no desire to share their successes or failures with any other integers in the bowling industry. They owned the playing field and were often at odds with the ABC/WIBC, (now, the USBC).

    A great number of proprietors asserted their ownership rights , generally smug in their attitudes, and often used intimidating tactics against the ABC by threatening to withdraw their sanctions and institute their own governing rules and regulations.

    Furthermore, many proprietors were somewhat loathsome towards the PBA and downplayed the importance of the PBA's role in promoting the sport.

    But my, how times have changed! Under Berglund's leadership, the industry has NEVER been more united, cooperative, progressive and efficient as the present time.

    For example, during the past few years, the BPAA has won over the confidence of the entire media, especially the Bowling Writers Association. Once an integral part of the American Bowling Congress Convention festivities, has aligned itself with the BPAA's Bowl Expo, the most influential bowling trade show in the history of the sport. Bowl Expo attracts thousands of visitors from America and throughout the world.

    Furthermore, it affords bowling writers an opportunity to gather the latest information on equipment and new innovations from the leading manufacturers in the industry. A great number of these manufacturers showcase some of the top bowlers in the world in their booths, thus providing writers with an abundance of writing material.

    Several years ago, Mr. Berglund spearheaded a drive to include the International Bowling Pro Shop & Instructors Association under their supervision.

    IBPSIA was founded November 2, 1990 at Bally's Resort in Reno. The meeting was made up of seven bowling pro shop owners from the United States, representatives of the United States Tenpin Association (now, USA Bowling) and Neer & Associates, a management firm located in Fresno, Ca.

    By December 31, 1994, 657 industry businesses throughout the world, 62 outside the United States, were members of the association. In November 2005, it was voted to turn management over to the same staff that manages the BPAA for their capacity to bring more resources to the association.

    Through the association's printed material, education-packed trade shows, and Certification Program, IBPSIA has provided education, communication, and recognition for bowling pro shop professionals and instructors. There is little doubt that IBPSIA has become a greater force through the magical wand of John Berglund.

    Many years ago, at the annual Academy Awards ceremony, the motion picture industry presented an Oscar to the composers of 'Friendly Persuasion' as the Song of the Year.

    Wouldn't this be a fitting theme song for John Berglund?