JONESBORO, Ark. (4/5/10) - Former Arkansas State track and field coach Guy Kochel spoke to the seventh-ranked ASU women's bowling team before it departed on its trip to the 2010 NCAA National Collegiate Women's Bowling Championship Monday afternoon.
Kochel served as the track and field coach at ASU for 17 years, coaching two world record holders, three Olympic Medalists and two American record holders. The DeWitt, Ark. native is a member of the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame, the Arkansas High School Hall of Fame and the ASU Hall of Honor. Kochel's teams won nine Southland Conference championships, and he was named the league's Coach of the Year six times.
Kochel told stories of coaching former ASU greats Al Joyner and Earl Bell. He had many encouraging stories for the team and asked the Red Wolves, "Had any of you ever heard of Butler before they were playing in the national basketball finals this year? Probably not, but I love seeing them there. I always root for the underdog, because we've been the underdog for so long at ASU. But, you are the very best in your sport. If you weren't, you wouldn't be going to the NCAA championship."
The Red Wolves' 2010 appearance at the championship will be their third in the past three years. ASU finished the regular season at 72-36 for their third straight 70-win season and finished in the top-five at six of their eight tournaments this season, including four runner-up finishes at the Greater Ozark Invitational, Big Red Invitational, Capital City Classic and Shrewsbury Invitational. Arkansas State did not finish lower than eighth place this year. "You have to think that way, that you're bringing that trophy back to Jonesboro," Kochel added. "You have to see yourself hitting all ten pins, getting that trophy and being on the front page of the sports section. The power of your mind is an unbelievable thing."
The seventh annual championship tournament will be hosted by New Jersey City University and will be played at Brunswick Zone Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick, N.J. The remainder of the tournament field is comprised of Central Missouri, Delaware State, Farleigh-Dickinson, Maryland Eastern Shore, Nebraska, New Jersey City and Vanderbilt.