EAST GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T women’s bowling will host the first annual Vernell Stallings Women’s Bowling Invitational, Nov. 15-17 at AMF Lanes on 910 S. Holden Road in Greensboro, N.C. A&T head bowling coach Kim Terrell-Kearney announced on Thursday.
The tournament is named after Stallings, an Aggie alum who earned his degree in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in industrial arts education. He is considered the Godfather of N.C. A&T bowling after being instrumental in starting the program and serving as the school’s first head coach.
He led N.C. A&T to three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in 1996, 1997 and 1999 before the conference fully sponsored the sport. He retired as the head coach after the 1999 championship season.
“Coach Stallings has been instrumental in providing the foundation of the bowling program here at A&T,” said Terrell-Kearney. “Without his many years of hard work, these young ladies may not have all the opportunities we can offer them today. I am so thankful for all he has done, and we are honored to host this event in his name.”
Stallings has continued in his benevolence toward the Aggies bowling team. Stallings recently donated a gift to the bowling program that allows for the purchasing of the SPECTO software tool. SPECTO will greatly aid in the learning process for Aggie bowlers by providing them with valuable information after every roll.
Past NCAA bowling champions have used SPECTO. In the past five seasons, the Aggies have reached two NCAA tournaments and won a national title at the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships. The tournament will feature at least 10 teams with the potential of adding more as the event approaches.
“Mr. Stallings' gift puts our program in the upper echelon of the top women's bowling programs in the nation,” said Eric Hart, executive director of major gifts. “Additionally, the scholarship endowment he has created gives coach Kearney the ability to attract, recruit and retain some of the world's best collegiate bowlers."
Stallings, a Vietnam veteran who served his country admirably, returned to his alma mater in 1979 where he served as the associate director of the Memorial Student Union for 22 years.
During his time working at the student union, Stallings began the process of starting a bowling team at N.C. A&T. Stallings’ hard work led to the university dedicating the student union ballroom in his name.
The Aggies continued the success that Stallings installed by winning four of the first five MEAC championships starting. The Vernell Stallings Women’s Bowling Invitational will feature at least 10 teams with the potential to add more as the event approaches.
The Aggies begin the 2019-20 season with a trip to Harahan, La., for the Tulane University Sugar Bowl Invitational from Oct. 18-20 before traveling to Houston, Texas for the Sam Houston State University Invitational.
The first MEAC meet is in Baltimore from Nov. 8-10. The final bowling match of 2019 is in Millsboro, Del., for the UMES Hawk Classic and the Aggies begin the New Year with the Northeast Classic in Limerick, Pa., from January 17-19.
N.C. A&T travels to Arlington, Texas for the Prairie View A&M Invitational from January 31 until February 2 and then travels to Pensacola, Fla., for the second MEAC matches from Feb. 21-23.
The Aggies travel to Smyrna, Tenn., for the Vanderbilt Music City Classic from March 6-8 and the USBC Sectionals from March 13-15. The postseason begins with the MEAC Bowling Championship Tournament is March 20-22 in Chesapeake, Va., followed by the NCAA regionals from April 3-4.