As Fresno State junior Greg Geering bowled the clinching strike Saturday to give the Bulldog men's bowling team the USBC Intercollegiate title, the team's attention quickly turned to its biggest source of inspiration.
"We had a coach that passed away three and a half years ago," said current Bulldog Head Coach Chris Preble. "We still pay homage to him and we're very proud. A lot of these guys that are here are former players that tried to get it done for him and they are very proud of these boys that they were able to follow through and do that."
Glenn Carlson started the Fresno State bowling program in 1969. He led the women's and men's teams to a combined 22 intercollegiate championship appearances, before passing away in 2008 after a long illness.
"Me being a senior I'm one of the two guys that actually knew the late great Glenn Carlson," said Bulldog bowler Travis Beasley. "None of this would have happened without him. He founded this program. He built it from the ground up, and it's just indescribable what it means to our program and for him."
Current Bulldogs say Carlson was a bowling pioneer, earning numerous awards for his contributions to the sport, even helping to develop athletic scholarships for bowling athletes. His efforts have brought numerous athletes to the school from out of state.
"I was born and raised in phoenix and I came out here to bowl," said Geering, a first-team All-American. "I really have taken to the school and the town and I feel incredible that I actually got to bring something prideful back to the school."
And although Coach Carlson wasn't on the bench in Georgia over the weekend to celebrate the program's first national championship, the Bulldogs know he was there in spirit.
"A lot of us did it in honor of him and it's just indescribable," said Beasley. "We would not be here if it wasn't for him. It means a lot for him and it means a lot for program. It means a lot for the city."NEWS BY LOCATION | ABC30 BLOGS | DISCUSSION FORUMS
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