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Abbey names new bowling coach

Rich Gucwa, Jr., a 15-year veteran of collegiate and high school coaching and a former professional bowler, has been named Head Men’s and Women’s Bowling Coach at Belmont Abbey, Vice-President and Director of Athletics Stephen Miss announced.

Gucwa comes to The Abbey after four years at North Central College outside of Chicago, Ill., where he was the inaugural head coach and developed the women’s program. He is a Silver Certified Coach by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) and has appeared on Bowlers Journal’s Top 100 Coaches list for three straight years.

“They say that good things come to those who wait, and after what has been a lengthy, extensive search, we have identified the right individual to elevate our Women’s and Men’s Bowling programs to regional and national relevance,” Miss said. “We are thrilled to name Rich Gucwa, a life-long participant in and advocate for the sport of bowling as our Head Coach.  The combination of Coach Gucwa’s experience coaching at the collegiate and high school levels, his working individually with high profile, elite-level bowlers to enhance their performance, and his strong faith commitment makes him ideally suited to form, develop, mentor, teach, and coach our students so as to facilitate them in becoming a blessing to themselves and to others.”

A former member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), Gucwa has over 20 years of competitive bowling experience in addition to his years in coaching. He previously served as head boy’s coach at Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep School in Elmhurst, Ill., from 2007-14 and was a private instructor to top youth and high school bowlers throughout the Chicagoland area. Gucwa is also a certified pro shop operator.

“Some things are just meant to be,” Gucwa said. “The reality is that this coaching opportunity actually found me.  I was not looking to make a move but after many conversations with Stephen Miss and others in the Athletic Department along with a visit to The Abbey, I knew that this was where I belonged.  Abbot Placid Solari’s and President Thierfelder’s leadership is creating a very bright future for Belmont Abbey and I am honored to be a part of it. The Crusader Bowling Program has a great foundation of exceptional student-athletes and I am excited to coach such an outstanding group of young men and women.

A special thank you to Stephen Miss for inviting me into the Belmont Abbey Family and to Aaron Clune for everything he has done for the bowling program in the interim. Most importantly, I want to thank God and my family for their guidance and unconditional support.  I honestly cannot wait to get started.”

A summa cum laude graduate from DePaul University with bachelor’s degree in business communication, Gucwa begins his duties on June 1. He and his wife, Kristen, have two sons, Gavin (15) and Noah (13).