Longtime collegiate coach/professor to join USBC as coaching/youth program developer

    05/21/09

    USBC Coaching

    USBCGarySparks_small.jpgGary Sparks, the longtime bowling coach and assistant professor of bowling industry management at Vincennes (Ind.) University, is joining the United States Bowling Congress staff.

    Sparks will be a program developer in the coaching and youth development areas beginning in mid-June. He will work jointly under USBC Team USA High Performance Director David Garber and Youth Development Director Brian Graham.

    "Gary will be a great addition to the organization," Graham said. "He's experienced, has many contacts within the industry and has a great knowledge of what we need to do to grow the sport."

    "Gary's wisdom from the bowling industry will be a great asset to the programs that youth and coaching will be doing in the near future," Garber added.

    The 53-year-old Sparks has been an assistant professor of bowling industry management and director of bowling at Vincennes for 20 years. He previously owned a custom trophy business and spent five years in center management for Brunswick.

    "After 20 years, it was undoubtedly a very tough decision leaving Vincennes and the program there," Sparks said. "I will miss that part of my life but feel this opportunity was a chance to be a part of something special in what lies ahead for our industry and sport."

    Sparks coached Vincennes' men's bowling team to nine National Junior College Athletic Association national championships, which included the 2009 title. He was elected to the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2003 and is a two-time National College Bowling Coaches Association Coach of the Year.

    An organized league bowler for more than 35 years, Sparks has served in many roles in state and local bowling associations, including as a member of the Indiana State Youth Board of Directors.

    "I am looking forward to the challenges of my new position and hopefully what I can bring to USBC in their efforts along those lines," Sparks said. "Through my years at VU, I have gotten to know and work with quite a few of the people already at USBC. Now I will be able to join with them as we take the sport to new levels.

    "The areas that I will be involved with, youth and coaching, have always been a high priority in my work in the industry and now I will be able to become directly involved in growing those two important segments of the industry."