Bloomfield College continues to invite student-athletes to ‘Write their own story’ at the collegiate level with the introduction of women’s bowling as announced by the Director of Athletics, Sheila Wooten. The NCAA intercollegiate sport is set to begin in the 2018-19 academic year and will bring the Bears total athletic programs offered to 12.
“With the recent addition of Men’s and Women’s Track & Field and their quick rise to success, we are excited to be able to offer bowling for the upcoming academic year and give incoming students a chance to choose Bloomfield and experience competing at this level,” Wooten said. “We hope to take advantage of our location to attract the best and brightest in the area to help build a successful program.”
The Bears’ athletic director also announced the hiring of Brianna Balkin as the head of coach of Bloomfield’s newest program. Balkin graduated from Nutley High School where she was a four-year varsity starter on the bowling team. Balkin attended Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) and was a member of the University’s first-ever NCAA National Championship team in 2006. In 2007 and 2009, FDU earned trips to the NCAA Division I Tournament and were national semifinalists.
As a coach, Balkin began at Lyndhurst High School in 2013. In five seasons, her teams garnered four league championships, three Bergen County Group 1-2 championships, one Bergen County Overall Championship, two North 1A Group 1 championships, and one North 1A Group 2 championship. In 2015, they were Group 1 State Champions as well as the first ever team from North Jersey to win a New Jersey Tournament of Champions (TOC) title.
Her teams won 70 matches in a row and held the longest win streak in New Jersey in any sport in league play. She also coached them to four undefeated seasons in a row from 2014-2017. Brianna was named the NJIC Meadowlands Division Coach of the Year four times.
“It’s exciting to become a part of the Bloomfield College family and build this program from the ground up,” Balkin said, of her hiring. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to coach at the collegiate level and look forward to developing a team that performs well both on the lanes and in the classroom.”
The Bears’ women’s bowling team will compete as an associate member of the East Coast Conference (ECC) when they open up their inaugural season in the Fall.