Erie Native Machuga Selected As First Mercyhurst Women’s Bowling Coach
ERIE, Pa. — Michael Machuga has been named the first-ever Women’s Bowling Coach for Mercyhurst University. Machuga will oversee the recruitment of the Lakers’ first team, which is set to begin competition in 2019-2020.
Machuga is an Erie, Pa., native and is currently competing on the Professional Bowling Association Tour. He has actively coached bowlers since 2003 – both domestic and internationally – including a stint as a coach for the Panama National Team ahead of the Pan-Am Games. Machuga is also no stranger to Mercyhurst Athletics. He was previously an assistant women’s golf coach.
“I am extremely excited for this great opportunity,” Machuga said. “Building a program from the ground up has been a goal of mine and I look forward to building a team, and a program, to be competitive at the national level. We are going to get to work quickly.”
Machuga has more than 13 years as a professional bowler. After bowling for two years as the University of Nebraska, he made an amateur run before turning pro in Aug. 2001. During his time with the PGA, he has won two PBA National Tour championships and one PBA regional championship. Machuga has bowled a 300 on the PBA Tour on 24 occasions. He was also a two-year member the Dallas Strikers, a team in the PBA League.
“I am thrilled to welcome Mike Machuga back to campus as our first-ever women’s bowling coach,” said Director of Athletics Brad Davis. “Mike’s reputation as a professional bowler and experienced coach speaks for himself. We are very fortunate to have someone of his caliber to build the program and recruit outstanding women’s bowlers to Mercyhurst.”
Machuga’s PBA Tour wins include the 2008 Chameleon Championship and the 2005 Greater Omaha Classic. As of the fall of 2018, Machuga reinstated his membership with the PBA after a 4 1/2-year retirement.
Machuga currently owns and operates the Next Level Pro Shop in Erie. He has 27 years of experience in bowling pro shop operations. In January, he won the Erie Times-News Open.
While at Nebraska, the Cornhuskers placed third at the National Championship during his freshman year.
Machuga grew up in Erie. His grandparents owned Frontier Lanes on the west side of Erie. He currently calls Rolling Meadow Lanes his home center.
Women’s Bowling will become Mercyhurst’s 25th varsity sport when in 2019-2020. Prospective students interested in being recruited to the inaugural women’s bowling team should complete the questionnaire here.
Later in 2019, Mercyhurst will announce additional details regarding its home facility, conference affiliation and more.
The NCAA has sponsored women’s bowling as a championship sport since the 2003-04 academic year. Schools from across all three NCAA levels compete for only one national championship. A total of 81 institutions competed during the 2017-18 year.