ANGOLA, Ind.—Trine University will add men's and women's bowling teams beginning in 2017.
The bowling teams will compete at the club level. National and league affiliations are in the process of being determined and will be announced at a later date. Team competition is expected to primarily take place in tournament settings.
"Bowling is a significant addition as we seek to diversify the student-athlete experience at Trine University," said President Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D. "The continued growth in our athletic programs mirrors the overall growth of our university and adds to the vibrancy of campus life at Trine."
"We are looking forward to the addition of bowling to our athletic department," said Matt Land, assistant vice president of athletics at Trine. "Bowling will bring another avenue of competition as we continue to expand the opportunities offered to our student-athletes."
Bill Burke has been tabbed the head coach of both programs. Burke became a Silver-certified coach in 2016 and is working toward earning Gold certification, which will make him one of just 30 Gold-certified coaches worldwide. He has been a Professional Bowling Association member since 1991.
"It has been my ultimate goal to coach at the collegiate level and create a winning team," said Burke. "I began bowling in 1972 and have always had a passion for the game. I took up a love for coaching and became very serious about it after watching my daughter bowl collegiately. I look forward to working with student-athletes and helping them thrive in a sport they love."
Burke, owner and president of Burke's Family Bowl and Angola Bowl, most recently served as the head coach at Angola High School, where he led the Hornets to a State Championship in 2015. He has seven years of coaching experience in the high school ranks and has worked professionally in bowling since 1991.
Thunder bowlers will have the opportunity use a six-lane alley in the MTI Center, set to open in 2018. With an estimated cost of $13.3 million, the MTI Center will also include an esports arena, three basketball courts, fitness center, pro shop, banquet room and bar, outdoor patio, offices and a training room.
The university will seek final approval for the project from the Angola Plan Commission at its December meeting.