GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College Director of Athletics Jack Leipheimer ‘74, announced Monday that the College will add women’s bowling as an intercollegiate sport, beginning with the 2015-16 academic year.
Women's bowling, which will initially be a club sport for the 2014-15 season, will become the 23rd NCAA-sponsored sport offered by Thiel the following year, eventually bringing the total to 11 women's sports and 12 men's sports. Thiel College is an NCAA Division III institution located in Greenville, Pa.
"When we began to explore adding another sport, we wanted to provide additional opportunities for female student-athletes that would also increase our compliance and commitment to Title IX," Leipheimer said. "Women's bowling accomplishes these goals, and it is also a cost-effective sport that continues to grow rapidly at the national level."
Since the NCAA officially offered a championship opportunity in the sport of women's bowling in 2004, it has been one of the fastest-growing NCAA championship sports. Thiel becomes the 10th NCAA Division III institution to add women's bowling and the 63rd school overall in the nation.
The NCAA conducts a National Collegiate Championship in the sport, which means that Thiel would compete against schools from all three NCAA classifications if it were to advance to the national finals.
Leipheimer also introduced the individual charged with leading Thiel's women's bowling team – men's and women's golf coach Dan McMillen '86.
McMillen is no stranger to the bowling alley. Prior to playing golf professionally for 25 years, McMillen competed at the junior and high school levels.
"We are thrilled to be able to offer a 23rd varsity sport, especially one that is so popular in Pennsylvania," McMillen said. "Having recently chartered a NCAA DIII women's golf team (in 2009), it excites me to recruit more student-athletes to come to Thiel, who wish to compete at the collegiate level in the sport they love."
Thiel's women's bowling team will compete and practice at Celebrity Bowl in Greenville, Pa.
About Thiel College
Founded in 1866, Thiel College is an independent liberal arts, sciences and professional studies institution located on a 135-acre campus in Greenville, Pa. just 90 minutes from Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Erie. Committed to combining the best of the liberal arts tradition with career and life skills, the Thiel College faculty offers a high quality undergraduate education to more than 1,100 students across more than 60 majors and minors in 19 discipline areas that inspire, challenge and prepare students to succeed.