By JACK VANASSCHE, Editor-in-Chief

The University of Michigan-Dearborn announced the addition of men’s and women’s bowling as varsity programs for the 2018-2019 school year, as announced by the school over the summer.

According to the university, as national search for a head coach is underway. It is still to be determined where the Wolverines will call their home venue.

Both men’s and women’s bowling comes on the heels of the announcement of women’s soccer and baseball being added less than a year prior and was followed by the addition of a women’s ice hockey varsity program.

The team will participate in the NAIA within the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. The sport is currently an invitational sport in the NIA with the first Invitational Status Year set for the current school year, according to the school.

According to the university, there were 53 women’s programs and 51 men’s programs competing in the NAIA, as of July 1, 2017.

“We are excited to add men’s and women’s bowling to the intercollegiate opportunities offered on our campus,” UM-Dearborn Director of Athletics & Recreation Matt Beaudry said. “This will continue to advance and improve opportunities for men and women.”

The Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference sponsored bowling for the first time in 2012-2013 and had welcomed 10 men’s and women’s teams as of last year. Lawrence Technological University took home the regular season titles in both men’s and women’s bowling last season.

“As seen nationally, men’s and women’s bowling continues to grow,” Beaudry said in the release. “This will create a stronger representation at the conference and national level for our university. We look forward to continuing the momentum and success at UM-Dearborn.

“We firmly believe participation in athletics provides individuals an opportunity to achieve valuable lessons for life upon graduation, while supporting the educational community and the university’s mission.”