Michelle Carcagente Crews, the first head coach for the UAB bowling program, guided the Blazers through their inaugural season of competition in 2011-12.
A former two-time collegiate All-American and member of the USA Junior National Team, Crews was named head coach at UAB in June 2011 and immediately went to work putting together the first bowling team in program history.
The Blazers won two of their eight tournaments in 2011-12 with their breakthrough victory coming in just their third-ever event at the nine-team Elizabeth City State Beach Open in November. The team then added another title in February at the four-team South Carolina State Bulldog Roundup.
Jamie Cowden was the top finisher at the Bulldog Roundup, giving Crews and the Blazers their first-ever individual title. Teammate Marissa Ferreira finished second behind Cowden, and the Blazers placed a total of four bowlers among the top 10 in the field.
Crews did not back down from scheduling some of the toughest tournaments in the country in UAB's first year. Of the Blazers' 93 total games in the 2011-12 season, 34 of them came against ranked teams.
During the 2012 spring semester, UAB competed at some of the nation's top tournaments, including Arkansas State's Mid-Winter Invitational, Nebraska's Big Red Invitational, the Holiday Collegiate Classic in nearby Bessemer, Ala., and Vanderbilt's Music City Classic.
Crews guided the Blazers to five wins over ranked teams in their first year. UAB defeated No. 6 Vanderbilt, No. 6 Central Missouri, No. 16 Monmouth and No. 16 Wisconsin-Whitewater in Baker matches. The team also added another win over Wisconsin-Whitewater, then ranked No. 18, in a best-of-seven Baker match.
The Blazers finished their inaugural season with an overall record of 36-57, including a mark of 9-6 in bracket-style, best-of-seven Baker matches.
A young coach, Crews took on the task of building the UAB program knowing what it's like to be part of a successful team.
She earned All-America recognition as a member of UCF's club team in both 2006 and 2007 and she helped lead her team to a national collegiate runner-up finish in 2006. She also qualified that year for the collegiate singles championship where she tied for fifth place individually and was the only bowler in the field to post a 300 in the sport condition competition.
Crews qualified in 2008 for the Team USA junior squad after competing at the National Junior Gold Tournament. She trained at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 2008.
Originally from Long Island, N.Y., Crews helped start the bowling program as a junior at Flagler Palm Coast (Fla.) High School. She graduated from UCF in 2009 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus in education, behavioral and social sciences.
The former Michelle Carcagente is married to Jimmy Crews. The couple had its first child, a son named Jimmy Lance, in November 2011.