January 10, 2022
On Campus

Finding A New Alley

Wittenberg Introduces Women’s Bowling As 26th Intercollegiate Sport

Wittenberg University has added a new intercollegiate athletics opportunity with the introduction of a women’s bowling team, bringing the total number of programs offered to 26.

Wittenberg’s Department of Athletics has been growing steadily over the last two decades, introducing new programs in women’s golf in 2003, men’s volleyball in 2014, women’s water polo in 2018, and now women’s bowling in 2021. While most of Wittenberg’s intercollegiate teams compete in NCAA Division III, there is just one competitive division for all women’s bowling programs.

The plan is for the Tigers to compete in approximately eight tournaments, starting with the 2022-23 school year. Wittenberg will not join a league or conference initially. The NCAA bowling season starts each year with practices that begin in early October and runs through a national championship for selected teams in late March.

Shannon Pluhowsky, a three-time All-American at the University of Nebraska, has been selected as the program’s first head coach. A current member of Team USA and a six-time winner of professional championships on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) tour, Pluhowsky has also served as an assistant coach for the women’s bowling team at her alma mater since 2019.

“We are excited to have Shannon start and build our bowling program,” said Brian Agler ’80, vice president and director of athletics and recreation. “She has extensive and successful experience both at the collegiate and professional levels, both coaching and competing. Shannon is competitive and she will be an amazing instructor, coach and teacher of the game.”

A 2004 graduate from Nebraska with a degree in early childhood development, Pluhowsky recently returned to Dayton, where she worked as the general manager for Capri Lanes from 2008-19. In addition to her work as an assistant at Nebraska the last two years, Pluhowsky was the girls’ bowling head coach at Archbishop Alter High School in Kettering from 2011-14, and she was the coach of Turbo Collegiate Expo from 2016-19.

“I always thought coaching was my way to give back to bowling,” said Pluhowsky, the AMF World Cup champion in 2002 and 2004. “I’ve been fortunate to do a lot of things because of bowling.”

As an amateur, Pluhowsky won the 1999, 2000, and 2001 USBC Junior Golf championships, and the 2001, 2003, and 2004 U.S. Amateur championships. After her collegiate career, Pluhowsky won a bronze medal at the 2016 World Bowling Singles championships, two gold medals at the PABCON Women’s championships, and two medals at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, among a host of other professional achievements.

She was the World Bowling Writers Female Player of the Year in 2002 and 2004, and the 2011 World Bowling Writers Bowler of the Year. Pluhowsky was inducted into the World Bowling Writers Hall of Fame in 2012.

Her competitive success at every level of the game, from amateur to professional, and her knowledge of the industry make Pluhowsky an ideal person to lead a collegiate program. She is looking forward to teaching, guiding, and mentoring student-athletes who want to challenge themselves athletically and academically.

“It’s exciting to explain to bowlers that there is a next level because many of them don’t really know about opportunities in college,” Pluhowsky said. “We have a really big bowling community in this part of the state. I’m looking forward to getting the word out about starting this new program.”

Wittenberg has a long history of athletics success across a variety of intercollegiate sports. Agler, a national champion as a student-athlete in the Tiger men’s basketball program and a professional champion as a coach in the WNBA, is looking forward to seeing a new program flourish and hopefully reach similar heights in the future.

“Our expectations are to recruit talented student-athletes to compete for and represent Wittenberg University,” Agler said. “Our area of the state has some exceptional bowling programs at the high school level. We will work hard to build this program so we compete nationally.”

Tradition of Excellence
Wittenberg University has a long history of athletics excellence, boasting of nine national championships across four sports, hundreds of league championships, and numerous individual honors for student-athletes, including more than 600 All-America awards.
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Ryan Maurer
Ryan Maurer
Senior Writer and Web Communications Specialist

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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