Spring Hill College Director of Athletics Jim Hall has announced that the college will offer men's and women's bowling as its 17th and 18th varsity sports beginning in fall of 2013.
"Bowling is enjoying robust growth nationally especially at the high school level," said Hall. "I see bowling as a natural fit in the growth of our athletic programs. The NAIA bowling programs around the country have become quite competitive in a very short time. We believe that we'll quickly be able to build a solid program at Spring Hill College given our outstanding academics, great climate and beautiful campus."
The Badgers will join 42 men's and women's bowling programs that currently compete across the country in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Spring Hill will be the first NAIA bowling program in the state of Alabama.
Bowling is currently considered an "emerging" sport within the NAIA, meaning that it is recognized as a varsity sport by the organization since more than 25 member schools participate, but the NAIA does not sponsor an official national championship tournament. To qualify as a "championship" sport, 50 or more institutions must designate bowling as a varsity sport.
The NAIA previously sponsored men's bowling as a championship sport from 1962 until 1978. The recent resurgence in bowling led to the sport regaining NAIA varsity sponsorship for men and women in 2010 and the creation of a national invitational tournament in 2011.
A nationwide search for a fulltime head coach will begin immediately.
Both teams will practice and compete at a local Mobile bowling alley yet to be determined.
With the addition of the two bowling programs, Spring Hill will sponsor varsity teams in 18 sports that include men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's outdoor track & field, baseball, softball, competitive cheerleading and women's volleyball.
Prospective student-athletes interested in the new programs should contact Jim Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (251) 380-3491.