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College coaches hard at work this summer

The summer is a time when many college recruiters do their work. For Sharon Brummell, that's no different

But while football and basketball are the most talked-about sports when it comes to recruiting, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's Brummell spends her time going after bowlers.

One of few full-time bowling coaches in the country, Brummell uses the summer to reel in all the players she can to the Hawks' program.

Brummell has two big trips planned for this summer. She traveled to Dallas to the United States Bowling Congress' annual convention, and this weekend she heads to Las Vegas for the USBC Junior Gold tournament, which runs through July 15.

Brummell said the event in Dallas was more of a coaching convention, but the Vegas trip has the potential to be her most fruitful.

"It's like a meat market," she said. "There are usually 600-700 female bowlers there. It's a big recruiting spot for us."

The bowlers are all under 19 and bowl for four or five straight days at the tournament. The hectic schedule doesn't give Brummell much time to sightsee.

"I'm normally in the alleys from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.," Brummell said. "But it's crucial that I be there. Every college coach in the U.S. is there."

Brummell's hard work has paid off recently. She led the Hawks to the 2011 NCAA title, defeating Vanderbilt in the championship match, 4-2.

Much of Brummell's summer efforts also include finding opponents. Few college programs have teams, meaning the Hawks have traveled all over the country.

"We've gone just about all over the U.S.," Brummell said. "Arizona, Michigan, Arkansas, Nebraska, Illinois. Everywhere."

Brummell said she's hoping the University of Hawaii will get a team. She also would like to travel to Europe to compete.

"We're trying to find a collegiate bowling team outside the U.S., but it's hard," Brummell said. "They all compete on their national teams, so not that many colleges have teams."

Following is a look at what other local college coaches are up to this summer:

Bill Kelley
Navy, rifle

Even when he's not coaching his current players or scouring the country recruiting new ones, Navy rifle coach Bill Kelley is never too far away from what he loves to do.

Kelley, who just finished his 12th season at the helm of Navy's rifle program, is the founder and owner of the Gun Center, a full-time retail store located in Frederick. And during the summer — when he isn't coaching or recruiting future Midshipmen — most of his time is devoted to the store.

"I'm usually in here most days and down at the Yard [Navy's campus] one or two days a week," Kelley said. "I'm usually answering emails by 6:30 in the morning, then handling the administrative types of things — responding to recruits and other things that take place at the Academy. I'll typically be in [the Gun Center] around lunchtime and then I'm home by 6."

Kelley said there is no "average day at the shop," but that as many as 50 to 60 people enter the store on a busy day with at least 25 people coming in on a slow day.

And even though Kelley sells rifles at his store, he said there's not too much overlap between what he does at the Gun Center and his coaching responsibilities in Annapolis.

"Not a bit of double dipping," Kelley said. "The shooting market in competitive shooting like what we do at the Naval Academy is a very limited market that's handled by maybe four or five vendors in the entire United States. We aren't in those product lines. We deal with hunting and target shooting types of products that the general public would buy. There's not really any kind of crossover between the two.

"It's funny. Most of the people who come in here don't realize that, No. 1, I'm the rifle coach at the Naval Academy, and No. 2, that there's even an NCAA sport in rifle. There's not a whole lot in common. It's two different markets."

Kyle Hannan
Goucher, men's lacrosse

Goucher coach Kyle Hannan has seemingly mastered the art of turning around a lacrosse program.

But it's another sport that's responsible for a pain Hannan is reminded of every step he takes.

Hannan was playing pick-up basketball with some co-workers in May 2009 when he awkwardly landed on his left ankle.

"My ankle actually dislocated and kind of flipped upside down," he said. "My ankle was on my shin and I was looking at the bottom of my shoe. So my foot basically came off."

Hannan has undergone two surgeries, but he's still experiencing excruciating pain daily.

So this summer he's waiting to undergo a new type of ankle replacement surgery, an innovative option that could help him regain his mobility and allow him to enjoy the active lifestyle he once took for granted.

Dr. Lou Schon, a renowned foot and ankle expert, has spent the past 12 years working on a new device for ankle replacement surgery and hoped it would be available to test this summer.

But, since the FDA has not yet cleared the device, Schon declined to discuss it in detail.

As a competitive coach, Hannan hoped the procedure could be performed in early August, so he could finish the recruiting period, but that now appears unlikely.

"To be honest at this point, with the lifestyle I've had for two years and the pain that I've been in daily, I just can't wait for the procedure because something has to happen," said Hannan, 48, who recently finished his 11th season at the school.

Hannan's pain hasn't affected the Gophers, who finished 11-6 this spring. They have a 111-69 record under Hannan, who took over the program in 2000, when it had yet to post a winning season.

"This guy is a tough son of a gun, because he puts up with this pain," Goucher Athletic Director Geoffrey Miller said. "He doesn't let it affect his job. We couldn't ask for anything more. He's turned this lacrosse program around and has given us everything we really hoped for when we hired him 11 years ago."  

Mike Davenport
Washington College, rowing

It would be easy to call Dr. Mike Davenport the Renaissance Man of Washington College. With a coaching gig, a part-time professor role, a book published on acid reflux disease and a fascination with Legos, one might be hard-pressed to find someone with more diverse interests.

It's also hard to see how Davenport has time to fit all his duties into his schedule.

"I am busy," Davenport said. "But after you do it for a while, you just keep going."

Davenport currently serves as the Director of the Rowing Program at Washington. He's also the head coach of the women's squad.

But he hasn't been fulfilling many rowing duties this summer.

Davenport is slated to teach an online entrepreneurship class in the fall at Washington. This summer, he started his own online business to learn the ins and outs of the craft.

The business, stickfiguresimple.com, creates stick figure drawings to help companies and their employees understand concepts better. Davenport said it doesn't make a lot of money, but that's not its purpose.

"It's been successful from the standpoint that I've learned an amazing amount about online business," he said. "I want to give these kids insight into what online business models are out there. On what college kids can do with $100."

Aside from his coaching and teaching duties at Washington, Davenport also moonlights as the NCAA compliance officer for all Washington sports.

"We follow the rules pretty well, so my job in that regard is pretty easy," he said.

Davenport has also published three books — one on rowing, one on NCAA bylaws and another on acid reflux disease in children.

Davenport's son, Benjamin, was diagnosed with acid reflux disease early in his life. Now 9, Benjamin is completely healthy.

Davenport and his wife, Tracy, enlisted physicians from around the country to write chapters in the book.

"We wanted to try and help spread the information," Davenport said. "We decided if we can help one person not go through that kind of hardship, it's worth it."

Davenport and his family also partake in an unusual pastime — Legos.

"Some people try to see all the baseball stadiums they can," Davenport said. "We do that with Legos."

The Davenports travel the country, seeing Lego stores and exhibits all over. They're saving up to travel to the new Legoland opening in Winter Haven, Fla., in October. Also on the travel wish list is the Lego factory in the Netherlands and the Lego store in Dubai.

"You can't walk into our house and not step on a Lego," Davenport said. "I feel like we've spent enough money on them to fund the new Legoland park."

Ben Berquist
Stevenson, lacrosse

The past year has been one of transition for Ben Berquist. Now he's ready for some rest and relaxation this summer.

Berquist, a volunteer assistant men's lacrosse coach at Stevenson, just finished his first year working with the Mustangs. Before that, he was the boys lacrosse coach at Towson High for 13 years.

Berquist doesn't confine his talents to coaching. He still serves as a behavior interventionist at Towson, helping students with social, emotional and behavioral problems every day. He said much of the students' problems are rooted in poor discipline.

"A lot of them come from backgrounds where they don't have a lot of resources," Berquist said. "Not a lot of parental involvement. There's no foundation."

Berquist began his career at Catonsville Center for Alternative Studies, an institution that takes expelled students from 17 feeder schools and tries to steer them back on track. While there, Berquist also earned a master's degree in education and at-risk youth from Goucher.

Although there is no team or games in behavior intervention, Berquist still feels like a coach. Some days, his students will progress — a win. Others, they decline or revert back to old ways — a loss.

Berquist said estimates he spends 70 percent of his working time at Towson and 30 percent at Stevenson.

Some might call it a sweet deal for Berquist. He still sees his old lacrosse players and coaches every day in the hallways, but no longer has the responsibility of being head coach.

"It was weird at first," Berquist said. "I'd see everyone on a daily basis. But it's been good. Some of the players come out to Stevenson games to support me, and I'll go to their games to support them."

He's even recruiting one of his former Towson players — goalie Connor Skeen — to suit up for Stevenson next year.

"I still feel like I know what's going on there [at Towson]," Berquist said.

But his specialties at Stevenson are more on the offensive side. He said he works mainly with attack and midfielders.

At Towson, Berquist coached lacrosse, boys' basketball and even soccer, all while fulfilling his duties as behavior interventionist. He said he was "looking for something different."

So he met with Stevenson head coach Paul Cantabene, who welcomed him to the Mustang staff.

As much as he's appreciated the new opportunity, Berquist said it was hard leaving a place where he was so comfortable.

"It was really tough leaving Towson," Berquist said. "But all my assistant coaches had played for me. I felt really comfortable turning it over to them."

xcxmcastello@baltsun.com

xcxjengelke@baltsun.com

xcxcbranch@baltsun.com

Chris Branch reported on Brummell, Davenport and Berquist. Jakob Engelke reported on Kelley. Matt Castello reported on Hannan.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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