Howard Thompson, Director of Sports Communication Services
FAYETTE – Rick Hartzell, Upper Iowa Athletics Director, announced that Nichole DePaul-Miller is Upper Iowa’s new Head Bowling Coach. DePaul-Miller will coach both the women’s and men’s programs for the Peacocks with competition for both teams beginning in the fall of 2019.
“I am thrilled that we have been able to recruit and hire a person of Nichole DePaul-Miller’s background and experience in regard to starting our new men’s and women’s bowling programs,” Hartzell said. “She not only has a tremendous bowling resume, but she is a master teacher. On top of that, she has a level of energy that was very impressive. She will work hard at this job; there is no doubt about that.”
DePaul-Miller comes to Fayette and the Upper Iowa campus with a wealth of experience in the sport of bowling. A current tour member of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association, she is sponsored as a Pro Staff bowler for Vise, Mongoose, DV8 and Logo Infusion. She also spent years in the bowling industry as a chemist and engineer with the United States Bowling Congress and Kegel. The newest Peacock leader was also the Head Girls Bowling Coach at Waubonsie Valley High School in Illinois.
“I am excited and blessed to be selected as the head coach for Upper Iowa University,” DePaul-Miller said. “Starting new programs from the ground up is a daunting yet challenging task for any coach in any sport, but I am up for the challenge and looking forward to becoming a part of the Peacock family.
“I have to thank a lot of people for this opportunity including my parents for starting me in the sport of bowling years ago. In addition, thank you to my teams, DV8, Logo Infusion, Mongoose, and Vise, for supporting me on and off the lanes, my husband, Jason Miller, for allowing me to pursue my dream of coaching a collegiate program and Upper Iowa, from the University administration to the athletics administration and coaches, for providing and blessing me with a chance to become the head coach for their bowling programs.”
The owner of two degrees, DePaul-Miller earned a Bachelor’s in chemistry from Illinois State University, a Master’s in teaching of science, second science education from Western Governors University in Utah. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in education, K12 studies in secondary science education from Capella University in Minnesota.
DePaul-Miller has taught the highest levels of chemistry since 2008 at the high school and college level. She has been part of the faculty at Olympia, Ross S. Sterling, YES Prep Public High Schools, as well as Rice University, Northwestern University and the University of Houston.
“I have been bowling since the age of three and grew up in the youth programs in the state of Illinois near Joliet,” DePaul-Miller said. “I bowled for Illinois State University in 1997 and have continued to bowl for the Professional Women’s Bowling Association since 2015. I have worked with many NCAA programs in the sport of bowling and have created lane patterns for various tournaments across the United States and world. My husband and I own a pro shop in Plainfield, Illinois called Perfect Motion Pro Shop and know every technical and scientific aspect within the sport of bowling. Thanks to my background in education, I look forward to sharing my knowledge of the sport with the Peacock student-athletes and develop their bowling skills and technique helping them reach their potential. I will work hard to support my student-athletes in the classroom while helping them become better athletes on the lanes. ”
Upper Iowa University added women’s and men’s bowling as the 17th and 18th sport programs for the Peacocks with the first teams set to compete in the 2019-20 academic year. DePaul-Miller will recruit for the next year to build both programs up and kick off their inaugural seasons in the fall of 2019.
“Starting these new programs will not be easy. She is starting from scratch; therefore, we need recruiting and equipment, as well as a place to practice and a schedule. Giving Nichole this year to get the recruiting up and going should give us a chance to have a highly competitive bowling program at Upper Iowa when we start play in the fall of 2019.”
The Upper Iowa women’s bowling team will offer scholarships, and UIU will be the only institution in the state of Iowa to compete in the NCAA. Currently, there are six Iowa institutions that sponsor both men’s and women’s bowling and compete in the NAIA. The Peacock men’s bowling team will also offer scholarships and compete as a varsity team in many of the same tournaments. The NCAA does not sponsor men’s bowling as a sport, but the team will participate in the USBCA
“I will be looking for student-athletes who love the sport of bowling as much as I do and are willing to learn inside and outside the classroom setting,” said DePaul-Miller. “I want athletes to have strong communication skills, be team players, and be positive influences in our sport. I want our Peacocks to know they are students first and athletes second because getting an education is key to their success on and off the lanes.”
At this time, there are 80 NCAA schools that compete in women’s bowling. All 80 teams, regardless of their respective university’s affiliation in the NCAA, compete in the same division for the championship in mid-April.