Tom Rathbun: Rolling Into The Season

By: Jeanne Winton

FM’s brand new bowling team will start in the spring of 2017 and Tom Rathbun is the coach who’s pulling it all together.

Rathbun has no shortage of experience, and even started the Herkimer College bowling team in 2006. After two years he was forced to step down from his coaching position because of work obligations.

His coaching career started well before his time at Herkimer. Rathbun graduated from SUNY Cortland and taught Phys. Ed for two years, part time. He had to eventually find something full time for financial purposes, but continued coaching. He continued coaching through the 80s into the early 2000s, but had to take a several year hiatus, until returning to start Herkimer’s bowling team.

He is now starting FM’s new bowling team. Practices are held off campus at

Perry Lanes in Johnstown. The team has been meeting for practices for two weeks so far.

As far as his coaching style, Rathbun describes himself as mainly fair, but also believes there’s a time where you have to buckle down and show that you’re in charge.

Rathbun says, “As long as you can keep open communication with them [the team], and listen to what they have to say, I think it’s a good give and take.”

The team is at a bit of a disadvantage because they aren’t an established team, which means they’re getting mainly newcomers to the sport as opposed to seasoned players. Rathbun plans to counteract that with ample instructional time.

Jay Hadcock, a member of the men’s team, says, “He’s helped us a lot so far, just from when we started I can tell.”

Some of Rathbun’s favorite things about coaching the bowling team don’t even have to do with bowling. He describes one of his favorite parts as, “Just interacting with a younger crowd. I’ve got grandkids about that age, so it’s nice to just hang out with them instead of being in the house. It’s a nice change of pace.”

The Bowling team’s first tournament, the Mohawk Valley Invitational, will be

January 15 in Utica at Mohawk Valley Community College.

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