When Augustana announced the addition of women’s bowling in April of 2016, the wait for a new coach was short lived.
By early June, Augustana Director of Athletics, Mike Zapolski, named Marty Resner as the head coach of the newly established program. It was not a difficult decision for Zapolski.
“Going into the process, I already had conversations with Marty and knew that he was very interested,” Zapolski said. “He lives in the area, he has connections, and he’s dialed in, so it was a pretty simple thing to make happen. With his familiarity of the sport and his passion to start up a new program from scratch, it was a nice alignment with what we wanted here.”
Resner, an Augie graduate, and three-year football letter-winner dreamed about this scenario since his graduation in 2013. His background in bowling is rich, as he has been playing since he was a kid and both his brother and father are high school bowling coaches.
Therefore, when the coaching position was officially announced, Resner saw an opportunity he simply could not resist.
“When I knew the opening was there, I had my resume there within the day,” Resner said. “I knew I had the time, the energy, the passion, and the mindset to get a program started. I hope to start and end my career here.”
Resner said one of the largest issues he envisioned when taking the reigns of a new program was recruiting. However, despite this uncertainty, that process has turned into one of his favorite aspects of the job so far.
“I love being able to talk with players, and you can talk to them about how they will build the traditions and foundation for the program going forward,” Resner said. “And I have continued to use that message because it is something pretty special.”
Augustana does not technically belong to a conference in women’s bowling, but they currently have double-digit tournaments scheduled for the inaugural year.
As the season is set to begin, Resner is eager to finally set his plan in motion after feeling out the scene in club play last year. Although it is just the beginnings stages of building the program, Resner has still set high expectations.
“First, I want to be better than the two other teams in the CCIW,” he said. “Also, I want to be in the top third of all the teams in college bowling. I also want the team average around 175 a person. They are all doable and realistic, but you have to set the bar high.”
Junior bowler Staci Ficht had the opportunity to play under Resner with the club team last year, so she knows his style and believes in both his short and long-term plan.
“Coach Resner knows how Augustana runs and the principles that the school sets,” Ficht said. “Even from last year, he wanted us to succeed, and he is willing to put in the time and effort needed to do so. He is constantly seeking new ways for us to improve, contacting other coaches to ask questions, and setting goals for us to strive for. I feel that he will do a great job leading the program for years to come.”
Augustana women’s bowling will participate in its first collegiate tournament on October 21 at the Five Seasons Classic in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.