Longtime Troy coach gets Hall of Fame nod

Coaching, mentoring and providing opportunities — for Rob Dever, the sport is as much about service as it is strikes and spares.

The longtime Troy High School bowling coach — who has been at the helm of the Trojans program for more than two decades — will be recognized for his long-time dedication to the sport by being inducted into the Greater Dayton United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame for meritorious service. Dever and the other hall of fame inductees will be recognized at the annual banquet on Aug. 2 at the Presidential Banquet Center.

“This was a total surprise to me. To be honest, I didn’t even know I was eligible,” Dever said with a smile.

The Tipp City resident first tried his hand at coaching when his now-grown children became involved in youth leagues. In 2003, when high school bowling was just getting off the ground in Ohio, Dever was tapped to coach at Troy. Success has been the rule, not the exception, ever since.

The girls’ team has made 15 trips to the state tournament in the past 18 seasons, winning in 2016, finishing as runner-up three times — including this year — and advancing to the Final 4 three other times. The girls have also won their conference title — GWOC or MVL — 16 of the past 18 seasons.

The Troy boys team also claimed a state title (2011) and made six other state trips. But titles and accolades are not what Dever most cherishes about his coaching career.

“I really like the one-on-one aspect of coaching,” he said. “Because a bowling team isn’t huge, I get to spend the time to get to know each of them. I’m able to help them grow as a bowler and also as a person – hands down, that’s the most rewarding part.”

Dever’s desire to make a difference extends beyond his bowlers and even his community. He was instrumental in establishing the Youth Scholarship Travel League in 2007. The competitive and fun league is designed for those 18 and under to fine tune their game and earn valuable scholarship money.

What started with about 30 young bowlers the first season has grown to include almost 200 bowlers this year. More than $205,000 in scholarship money has been awarded since the volunteer-run league began. Beyond the practice time and the prize fund, Dever has seen another positive of the league.

“The neat thing for me, is when I have time to stand back and watch and the kids, from all over, talking to each other and making friends,” he said. “That makes it all worthwhile.”

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