By Mike Finney
The News Journal

DOVER, Del. - When one door slammed closed on Kim Terrell-Kearney, she quickly turned her attention to finding a new challenge.

Terrell-Kearney, winner of 11 pro bowling tour titles, decided to try her hand at coaching. There she could instill in youngsters a passion for the game that she loves.

The two-time U.S. Women's Open winner found out that she was pretty good at getting her lessons across and two years ago landed a job as the head coach of Delaware State University's women's bowling team.

Ever since she arrived, the Hornets have soared to new heights.

Last season, she led the Hornets to a school-record 74 wins and a No. 11 ranking in the final National Tenpin Coaches Association regular-season poll. DSU also finished second in the 2008 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship, the best finish in team history.

This year, Delaware State is ranked fourth in the nation -- an all-time high for the program.

Terrell-Kearney admits that becoming a bowling coach in Delaware was not exactly on her radar about five years ago.

"I've been coaching really since [the Ladies Professional Bowling] tour folded, which has been about six years now," Terrell-Kearney said. "It's definitely different, but I like it very much.

"I wanted to coach in college and there's only five full-time coaching jobs in college right now in the country. They [DSU] used to be part-time but now they made it a full-time position and I applied and there we were."