DEARBORN, Mich. – The University of Michigan-Dearborn will begin sponsorship of men's and women's bowling as varsity programs for the 2018-19 academic year.
The addition of bowling will bring UM-Dearborn to a total of 12 varsity NAIA programs competing in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, following the start of women's soccer and baseball at the University in 2017-18.
"We are excited to add men's and women's bowling to the intercollegiate opportunities offered on our campus," UM-Dearborn Director of Athletics & Recreation Matt Beaudry said. "This will continue to advance and improve opportunities for men and women."
Bowling is currently an invitational sport within the NAIA with the first Invitational Status Year to begin in 2017-18. As of July 1, 2017, there were 53 women's programs and 51 men's programs competing in the NAIA.
The WHAC began sponsorship of bowling in 2012-13 and has grown the sport to 10 men's and women's teams (including Spring Arbor University as an affiliate member) as of 2016-17. Lawrence Technological University won both the men's and women's regular season titles last year.
"As seen nationally, men's and women's bowling continues to grow," Beaudry said. "This will create a stronger representation at the conference and national level for our university. We look forward to continuing the momentum and success at UM-Dearborn. We firmly believe participation in athletics provides individuals an opportunity to achieve valuable lessons for life upon graduation, while supporting the educational community and the University's mission."
A national search to identify a head coach will begin immediately. The future home venue for UM-Dearborn bowling is to be determined.