Goshen College is beginning to recruit for a new intercollegiate sport: men’s and women’s bowling. Competition is set to begin next fall against seven teams that already have bowling programs in the Crossroads League.

The players will form the 15th and 16th intercollegiate teams at GC, with their home games played at Maple City Bowl, a bowling alley on West Pike Street in Goshen. The last team GC established was the men’s volleyball team in 2018.

Scott Curtis will serve as the first ever bowling head coach, directing both the men’s and women’s teams. Curtis, who started on Aug. 1, most recently led the men’s and women’s teams at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Curtis has begun his recruitment process, and said that two men’s team prospects came to campus early in September, while two women’s team recruits visited this past week.

Curtis’ daughter, Brianna Curtis, is helping him recruit because she knows his standards. “I look for a bowler that has good, solid form, focused, coachable, shot maker, not just a thrower and shows traits of being a good teammate,” he said. “I test them when I get them one-on-one at the bowling alley to see if they are coachable. There is always room for improvement.” 

Though he said these qualifications are very specific, he said he is ready to work with anyone who is willing to put effort in. 

Bowling may have come as a surprise sports selection to students; GC’s athletic director Erica Albertin was able to offer insight on the decision. 

“We decided to add bowling, both the men’s and the women’s, to compete in the Crossroads League but also give the student athletes just a really great experience and connection to the community,” Albertin said. 

Albertin and Curtis both mentioned how the introduction of bowling was greeted with the support of students on campus and Roger Brown, owner of Maple City Bowl. 

Albertin also said that she received multiple emails from students asking about the bowling team and how to join. “I got, surprisingly, a lot of emails from students about how to join bowling or when is it starting or any of that,” she said. 

Coach Curtis said that he will be taking this year to recruit and build the team to make their start in the 2024-25 school year. His goal is to have a varsity and a junior varsity team for both men’s and women’s bowling.

Coming from Middleville, Michigan, Curtis has around 15 years of coaching experience in bowling. “I’ve been bowling since I was like 8 years old,” Curtis said. “It’s just a love of mine. Even my grandma told me that’s what I’m supposed to be doing — coaching kids of whatever age.” 

When coaching at Aquinas College, he led the men’s team to a fourth-place finish in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference championship in the 2021-22 season and the women’s team to a seventh-place finish. 

“Coach Curtis really seemed to fit,” Albertin said. “He gets the Goshen values and mission that we are all about and he was excited to step in and help build the program up.” 

When asked about why they chose Curtis for the coaching position, she said, “Coach just really stood out for his passion for bowling but also for his development of students.”

Curtis said, “They are making me feel like this is the place. I can’t describe it any other way than that.”