Valparaiso director of athletics Mark LaBarbera announced today that Crusader bowling head coach Stephen Anthony has stepped down from his coaching position to focus on his administrative role within the athletic department as associate director of athletics for business services. LaBarbera also announced that Shon Washington, who served as an assistant coach for the inaugural season of the bowling program, will be the program’s new head coach.
Anthony started the Crusader bowling program from scratch after the athletics department added the sport in February of 2009 and guided it to an incredible inaugural campaign. Valpo closed its first season of competition with a 68-46 record and finished the year ranked #10 in the nation in the final National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) coach’s poll. Along the way, Anthony guided the Crusaders to their first-ever event victory at the Warhawk Classic in Whitewater, Wis. and coached a Second Team All-American in Natalie Cortese.
“I am excited that Shon has agreed to lead the Valpo Bowling Program,” said Anthony. “Working with him this past year convinced me that Shon is the right person to lead the team to its goal of competing at the NCAA Tournament for a national title. Shon's expertise and knowledge on the lanes, matched with his tremendous ability to relate to our student-athletes, made this a very easy decision. I look for great things from our program and I know that Shon will provide a quality experience for our student-athletes. It is with great pride that I welcome him to the coaching staff at Valparaiso University and I look forward to continuing to support him and the team in my administrative role.”
Washington assisted Anthony in the Crusaders’ inaugural season this past year, helping in all aspects of the program as Valpo closed the season ranked among the top-ten squads in the nation. He also has spent the past four years as the head women’s bowling coach at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Hammond, Ind., leading the program from its inception and guiding it to a berth in the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championship in 2007-2008 in just its second season. Washington also brings eight years of coaching experience at Lake Central [Ind.] H.S., leading the Lady Indians to three state titles. He holds his USBC Bronze Coaching License and has also spent 14 years as a PBA member and regional tour pro.
“I want to first thank Valparaiso University director of athletics Mark LaBarbera and associate director of athletics Stephen Anthony for the wonderful opportunity to become the next head bowling coach at Valparaiso,” said Washington. “Working with Coach Anthony this past season, I have seen first-hand the talent level of the team he has assembled and the support that team has been given from the University. With this incredible foundation already in place, I am really looking forward to continuing to build this program into a team that will consistently compete in the NCAA Women’s Bowling Championships with the goal of earning a national title.”