Austin’s John Gray named to bowling HOFPublished 4:56pm Saturday, March 30, 2013
Austin resident John Gray has bowled for 54 years, but he did a lot more than that to get himself into the Minnesota State USBC Association Hall of Fame.
Gray was inducted under the Meritorious Service Category as he put in a lot of time and hard work to help make league bowling what it is today.
“It’s a huge honor, Gray said. “I know I spent a lot of time and effort, but it was a surprise to be honored as such.”
Gray served as state director of the MBA for six years and was on the Finance committee for four years. He was the first President of the Minnesota USBC Association for three and a half years and was the driving force that kept everything organized through the transition of the youth, men and women’s association’s being put into one group.
“It was a major time, because the men, women and youth were all losing membership,” Gray said. “We decided to merge them together to create efficiency. It took a lot of time and work, but the transition went very smooth.”
Gray, who was inducted in the Austin Bowling Hall of Fame in 1998, also made a local impact as he coached youth bowling for 17 years and now coaches Special Olympics bowlers.
Gray said that bowling is still big today, but sanctioned league play is going down in attendance as more people are bowling recreationally.
“It’s a big time commitment to go for 28 to 32 weeks, and people just don’t want to make that time anymore,” Gray said.
As a bowler, Gray is a member of the 700 Club, and he used to bowl with an average in the low 200s. He now bowls in the 180s.
Gray started bowling at age 11, he bowled while he was in the Air Force and with his dad in the American Legion League.
“Over the years the best thing I’ve gotten out of bowling is the socialization,” Gray said. “I’ve gained a lot of close friends.”