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YSU coach earns top honor

YOUNGSTOWN — Doug Kuberski turned Youngstown State into a top-10 bowling program in the 2019-20 season. Now, the record-breaking campaign is concluding with him being named the National Tenpin Coaches Association Division I Coach of the Year.

Kuberski, who was named the Southland Bowling League Coach of the Year two weeks ago, is the school’s first national coach of the year in any sport since current university president Jim Tressel was the Chevrolet National Coach of the Year in the Football Championship Subdivision in 1997.

The NTCA announced its national awards on Monday.

“To even be considered for the award is an honor,” Kuberski said in a press release. “I am grateful for the recognition of our season. This is truly a team award, and I am fortunate to work with a great group of ladies and work for a supportive and empowering university.”

In his first full season as the Penguins’ head coach, Kuberski transformed the program from a fringe top-25 team into a national contender.

YSU was ranked 24th in the preseason NTCA Top 25 poll, peaking with a three-way tie for seventh in March before its final 10th-place ranking. The previous best end-of-season ranking for the program was 24th, and the highest ranking at any point prior to 2019-20 was 23rd in 2017.

Youngstown State also was ranked 10th in the NCAA RPI, and it was in position to make a charge at a possible NCAA Regional berth before the season was cut short due to COVID-19.

Even with the abbreviated season, Kuberski helped Youngstown State set school records with 81 head-to-head victories — 32 more than any other season — and a .653 winning percentage. YSU had 15 wins over top-10 opponents during the season, matching its total from its previous three seasons combined. The Penguins also won their first two tournaments in program history to start the season, taking home the first-place trophy at the inaugural Columbia 300 Penguin Classic and the Mount Shootout. YSU completed its fourth season as an NCAA program in 2019-20. Kuberski became its head coach in December 2018.

The Penguins rewrote the school record book during the season under Kuberski’s tutelage. YSU posted the top two individual games in school history, the top three Baker games, the best Baker match, the top four traditional match totals, the top three individual tournament pinfalls and the top three tournament averages.

Youngstown State also set new standards for team game average, games over 200, Baker frame average, strike percentage, spare percentage, and fill percentage. Individually, Nikki Mendez set a school record with a season average of 200.04, and the top four individual averages in program history were recorded in 2019-20.

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