Newman University Head Bowling Coach Billy Murphy has been named the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association (NCBCA) Women's Coach of the Year for the 2017-2018 season.
This year's women's bowling team has achieved great new heights. Throughout their most recent season, the team won seven out of the 12 tournaments. During the season, the Lady Jets were ranked as high as third in the country; they finished their season ranked fourth. This is the highest the Lady Jets team has ever been ranked.
The team did not graduate anyone from the 2016-2017 season, so they had a firm foundation to build on for the 2017-2018 season. Murphy used the age of the team as an advantage.
All of the coaches in college bowling cast votes for coach of the year and a five-member committee of collegiate coaches narrows the results down to five finalists. After that, the finalists nominations go to the NCBCA board to be voted on.
Murphy knew he was in the running for the award. Before Murphy was named coach of the year, he was recognized as a finalist for the award, along with four other coaches, at the Night of Champions Banquet on April 18 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
When asked what it was like to receive such a prestigious award, Murphy said, "It is not an easy thing to win, because there are a lot of great coaches out there. I couldn't have gotten the award without this team, though. The award is given to the coach, but the season the team had greatly determines who will win."
This is the first time Murphy has been awarded this honor on the women's side. Murphy received the same award in the 2008-2009 season for men's coach of the year.
Although this award is something to be proud of, Murphy still has the same plans as any previous year.
"Getting students an education and a degree is the main focus," said Murphy. "The ultimate end goal will always be winning a national championship title."