A Fond Farewell to BJI’s Own Tom Kouros

by Bob Johnson 0

“He drafted his first book in longhand filling up dozens of legal pads,” writes Lyle Zikes in his “Pro Approach” column in the June issue of BJI. “What made its way onto typed pages, and eventually to printed and bound pages read by the country’s top bowlers and beginners alike, reflected not just his own voice and writing style but, most importantly, his prodigious knowledge of the sport developed through years of personal research and gifted analysis.

“There was no professional editor involved, no publisher to hype it, no organization funding it. Hardly anyone outside his immediate bowling community knew anything about him. Ultimately, what made it by far bowling’s best -selling and most influential instruction book was purely its content: People learned from it.

“The book was ‘Par Bowling,’ published in 1975. Its author, Tom Kouros, passed away on April 28 at his suburban Chicago home at the age of 92.

“For Kouros the book was a springboard to all sorts of things, including a monthly Bowlers Journal column that ran for some 35 years, the development of a bowling instructional course, a second excellent book (‘Par Bowling: The Challenge’ in 1993), notoriety as the coach of many PBA and PWBA pros, recognition as a bowling historian and, eventually, a spot in the USBC Hall of Fame for Meritorious Service in 2009.”

Bowlers Journal has lost one of its own, and as Kouros’s son, Craig, said in a Facebook post on April 28, “Today, the bowling industry lost a great one… He will be truly missed.”

Here are excerpts from Kouros’s USBC Hall of Fame bio on Bowl.com:

“He started his career in bowling as a pinboy in his native Chicago. He was named one of the best pinboys in the nation from 1939 to 1941. He was a member of DePaul University's 1953 Midwest Intercollegiate Championship team and won 11 singles and doubles events from 1949-55

“A long-tenured bowling proprietor… he is a past president and past secretary-treasurer of Chicago's Northwest Bowling Proprietors Association.

“He's conducted hundreds of clinics in the United States and in more than 20 countries worldwide. For several years, he served as technical adviser to the World Tenpin Bowling Association.

“Kouros was co-founder and past president of the Mid-America Bowling Writers… Among the honors he has received are the 2001 Flowers for the Living Award, Illinois Distinguished Service Award, 2002 International Coach of the Year Award (first recipient) by the World Bowling Writers and elected into the Illinois Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 2005.”

Services for Kouros will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights, Ill., to be followed by a reception at River Rand Bowl in Des Plaines, Ill.

All of us at Luby Publishing Inc. pass along our sincere condolences to the Kouros family.

To read the USBC's obituary, go here: https://bowl.com/News/NewsDetails.aspx?id=23622332938

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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