The men’s bowling program is rapidly expanding and becoming more successful in the collegiate bowling world. Over the past two years, it has tripled in size and welcomed many new skilled players. The GCU bowling team creates a supportive environment for bowlers to learn about the game, develop their skills and compete at the highest level. Men’s college bowling provides an outlet for GCU students to join a team of peers who share their passion and enthusiasm for competitive bowling. Players are able to work as a team and individually to improve their skills.
The men compete in United States Bowling Congress (USBC) collegiate events in Arizona, California, Nevada and other states. A club designation allows the team to compete for two national titles each year. The GCU bowling team made the postseason for the first time in 2016 and made its first club national championship appearance in 2017. The team, while still in its early stages, has captured two tournament titles and plans to continue to move up the collegiate bowling ranks as it continues to grow.
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Ben Canfield is honored to be coaching the talented men of GCU club bowling. He is a four-time National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Academic All-American, 2014-2015 Collegiate Club All-American second-team honoree, 2013-2014 Arizona Junior Bowlers Tour Bowler of the Year and winner of 23 JBT titles. He also placed fourth in All Events at the USBC Open Championship in 2015.
With his youthful appearance, he could likely blend into the team picture with the players of the Grand Canyon University Bowling team, but Jakob Butturff’s resume makes him stand out from the rest. Butturff is the newest member of the team, having joined close friend Ben Canfield’s coaching staff this December, and joined the team prior to a pair of tournaments over Christmas break in Las Vegas. That wasn’t a coincidence, since Canfield is fully aware of how comfortable Butturff has been on the lanes in southern Nevada, since Jakob grew up there, and that was the site of one of his two national wins that Butturff has racked up during his professional career.
Butturff’s rise in the sport as a player has been swift. Butturff first hit Canfield’s radar when the two faced off against each other in 2011 in the Junior Bowlers’ Tour Championship Match in Camp Verde. Canfield won that match, but Butturff used that as motivation to win his own JBT title the next day. Two years later, Canfield and Butturff were integral parts of the Arizona State University Bowling machine together for a single season. Butturff spent just one year wearing the maroon and gold of the Sun Devils before turning pro, and didn’t waste much time proving what a good move it was. Butturff has won 13 Pro Bowlers Association Region titles, a pair of PBA National Championships (winning the 2016 Lubbock Sports Open in addition to his win in Las Vegas at the South Point Open), a runner-up finish at this year’s PBA U.S. Open, and even the men’s 2017 United States Bowling Congress Team Trials title and the 2017 53rd Qubica AMF World Cup Champion. His consistency is a model for his new proteges to follow, since he spent the 2016-17 season not missing a Top 5 finish in any of the USBC Open Championships.