He’s not the coach everyone recognizes nor does he have a sport everyone follows, but Andrew Chatmon has a squad that is one of the most successful on campus.
The Alabama State bowling team is once again considered one of the nation’s best in 2014.
Since his arrival on campus as the Hornets’ bowling coach in 2008, Chatmon has toiled in obscurity, working under the radar on what is certainly the university’s most overlooked sport.
This season, he has added another scholarship player (scholarships for the sport are based on monetary limits, not numbers) as he continues to slowly build the nation’s 16th-ranked team into a championship competitor.
Alabama State competes at the Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA) level in football and Division I in every other sport, which means volleyball (which did) and women’s soccer (which was one game away) can reach the NCAA playoffs just like the big boys. But like men’s and women’s basketball, which has accomplished that feat in the past, and baseball, which might this season, there is absolutely no way those teams can make a legitimate run at a true national championship.
Bowling can. There are no divisions (I, II or III) and scoring is accomplished in a Baker match, which uses individual components for one team score. Therefore, any team can challenge in any given year for a national championship.
Alabama A&M finished as runner-up in 2006. Maryland-Eastern Shore is one of just three teams that has qualified for the NCAA Bowling Championships every year since the sport was added to the NCAA roster in 2004.
Now, Alabama State thinks it is their turn. Read their story in The Montgomery Advertiser on Monday.