By Dom Joseph
The Youngstown State University bowling team has brought on Doug Kuberski as the new head coach for the Penguins. Kuberski, a native of Pittsburgh, graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2003.
Kuberski’s coaching experience began in 2008, at Texas A&M University, where he led the Aggies to the Big XII Championship Tournament. Following his time at Texas A&M, he moved to Arkansas State University as an assistant. He then became the interim coach for the Red Wolves and led them to the NCAA National Championship Tournament.
Kuberski moved on to Iowa Western Community College, where he started the bowling program from the ground up. YSU hired Kuberski in December 2018 to take over the Penguins.
“The commitment to the team and the program from the administration impressed me,” Kuberski said. “Looking at the job, it all fit to me so it was a no-brainer.”
As he adjusts to the Penguins program, the team has welcomed him with open arms. Along with that, they’ve soaked in as much intelligence as they can since Kuberski joined the team.
Junior Rachel Darrow said the team has learned a lot from Kuberski.
“He’s taught me that it’s okay to have a bad shot. One bad shot is not going to define the entire game,” Darrow said.
Sophomore Emma Dockery said she picks up little things from the new coach.
“You’ll come in and pick things up throughout the day, and realize it’s only getting easier,” Dockery said.
Kuberski said the team is easy to coach.
“I let them do their thing during practice and during tournaments. I only intervene when I feel I have to, but they’re pretty darn smart,” he said. “It’s been flowing like a symphony.”
While the process of joining the new team has been rather painless for Kuberski, there is always room for improvement in his eyes.
“We’ve got some kinks to work out still,” he said. “I’m still new, but it’s been pretty free flowing so far,”
Bowling may appear simple, but there is a lot of detail involved that Kuberski analyzes deeply.
“It’s more a process,” Kuberski said. “I just try to keep them focused on what to do in terms of making shots, alignments, ball choice — those kind of things. I keep it simple. I don’t worry about the score.”
For the players, Kuberski is always helping them during the tournament in terms of adjustments.
“Every shot, there’s communication,” Dockery said. “He’s helped us realize that it’s up to us to make a great shot, and it’s up to him to help us pick up every pin.”
The Penguins have a clear goal for the 2019 season. Go deep in conference and finish high overall.
“Overall, this year we want to get to the top 15,” Dockery said. “We want to go deep in conference, which is doable. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be top 15.”
Kuberski has an even clearer goal: to get better every match.
“We’re looking to elevate each time out,” Kuberski said. “I think we’re on our way, we can go deep. We’ve shown we can hang with the big teams. We’ve got work to do, but we want to continue to elevate.”
The Penguins’ season began Feb. 8 at the Sunshine State Winter Classic in Orlando, Florida. YSU captured two victories and placed 10th overall. YSU won’t compete again until Friday March 1, at the Hawk Flight Invite in New Jersey.