Honors and Awards
Bill Straub has been the head coach for the Nebraska women's bowling team since 1996. However, his dedication and commitment to Nebraska bowling runs much deeper, as he coached both the men's and women's teams for over 20 years dating back to when both programs were club sports.
During his tenure, the Husker men's and women's teams have combined for 12 national titles in the past 26 years. The Nebraska women's bowling program won national championships in 1991, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2015, while the men's program captured national titles in 1990 and 1996.
The 2003-04 season was a huge success for Straub and his Huskers, as bowling competition was held at the NCAA level for the first time. Nebraska capped the season by winning the first-ever NCAA championship, rallying through the loser's bracket to defeat Central Missouri State in the nationally televised final. Shannon Pluhowsky was named the MVP of the NCAA Championship. Straub then guided the Huskers to a second NCAA title in 2005, as Amanda Burgoyne was named the NCAA Championship MVP. Straub and his team captured the 2009 NCAA title as Husker Cassandra Leuthold earned Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament. He also led the Huskers to the 2013 NCAA championship, using a great all-around effort led by MVP Lizabeth Kuhlkin to defeat Vanderbilt 4.5 to 2.5.
Most recently, Straub guided the Huskers to the 2015 NCAA championship that was played in front of an ESPN nationally televised audience. The Huskers defeated Stephen F. Austin by a score of 4-2 at Tropicana Lanes in St. Louis, behind strong efforts by Kuhlkin and Julia Bond, who was named MVP of the tournament.
In 2016-17, Straub's 20th season, his Huskers finished as the national runner-up after NU made the NCAA Championship match for the fifth-consecutive year. Straub was named National Tenpin Coaches Association Coach of the Year after leading Nebraska to four tournament wins in 2016-17 and helping NU to four more second-place finishes, including the NCAA Championship. For the second-consecutive season, Bond earned first-team All-America honors, while Gazmine Mason earned her third-straight third-team All-America award. Kelly Belzeski and Meghan Straub were both honorable-mention NTCA All-Americans for the Huskers in 2016-17.
In the 14 years that the NCAA has sponsored bowling, Nebraska is the only program to have qualified for the NCAA Championship in every season.
In addition to winning the award in 2017, Straub was honored as the NTCA Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2013.
Straub has coached seven bowlers who have been tabbed for a total of nine NTCA Collegiate Player-of-the-Year awards, including Kim (Berke) Straub (1992), Diandra (Hyman) Asbaty (2000), Pluhowsky (2001, 2004, 2005), Lindsay Baker (2006), Burgoyne (2007), Leuthold (2010) and most recently Kuhlkin in 2015. Straub has also coached four bowlers to NTCA Rookie-of-the-Year honors, including Berke (1989), Pluhowsky (2001), Baker (2005) and Leuthold (2007).
Along with winning 10 national titles, Straub's squads have not been ranked lower than seventh in the top 25 team rankings since becoming a varsity sport in 1997.
Straub's bowling history goes far beyond the University of Nebraska. A Lincoln native, Straub had an illustrious professional career, both locally and nationally. A member of the Nebraska Bowling Hall of Fame, Omaha Bowling Hall of Fame and the Lincoln Bowling Hall of Fame, Straub has gained more honors and titles than any other bowler from the state of Nebraska. His numerous local, state and national titles give proof that his success as a bowler and coach are mirrored by the success of his bowlers.
Straub graduated from Kensington University with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He and his wife Kim, a former four-time All-American and 1992 National Collegiate Bowler of the Year, have one daughter, current Husker bowler Meghan.