July 11, 2011
ARLINGTON, Texas - United States Bowling Congress Gold coach Michael Nyitray of Parkland, Fla., has been named the United States Olympic Committee 2010 Developmental Coach of the Year, giving the sport of bowling its first national coaching award from USOC.
U.S. Olympic and Pan American sports organizations selected their 2010 Coaches of the Year as part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program. The finalists in each category were chosen by a panel of coaching and sport education professionals.
"With the USOC regarded as the most respected governing body in sports, this honor goes a long way toward propelling the reputation of bowling as a sport," Nyitray said. "The award also sends a clear message about the importance of continuing to develop young athletes in the sport."
Nyitray has coached high school bowlers in South Florida for the past four seasons. Most recently, he worked with the Florida High School Athletic Association to develop a bowling program for Broward County (Fla.) high school bowlers. The innovative singles and team system allows schools to start a bowling team with as few as one participant and, in the first season, the program has 13 participating public and private high schools.
"There were 25 different top level coaches nominated by their respective organizations for this award," USBC Managing Director for National Governing Body Neil Stremmel said. "I believe Mike's key factor from a USOC point of view was the fact that he actually changed things within the system to allow more kids to participate. It is one thing to develop youth into athletes, but a much more rewarding thing to actually make it so more youth can compete."
Among Nyitray's students is Nathan Ricks, who carries among the highest high school averages in the country at 246. Another student, Andrew Koff, captured two gold medals and one silver at the 2010 World Youth Championships in Helsinki, Finland.
In addition to his coaching and program development roles, Nyitray has also hosted and facilitated bowling clinics throughout Central and South Florida and annually provides hundreds of individual and group lessons.
USBC Sport Performance Specialist Nicholas Bohanan was a finalist for the Doc Counsilman Science Award, which was ultimately awarded to Dr. Grant Schaffner, assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati, who was the principal designer for a revolutionary new skeleton sled used at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.