Maryland Eastern Shore faces Morgan State on Saturday to start road to a fourth straight title.
Hawks are just one of seven teams in the nation to sport a combined 3.5 GPA or better.
New campaign looks for support for the school’s most successful athletic program.
Bandy earns new level of certification for her bowling knowledge.
Pair of Hawks ranked among the top 10 players in NCAA Bowling.
The Hawks came in eighth place at this year's Prairie View A&M Invite in Arlington, Texas.
2015 "The Harry's" (Photo by Lloydlee Heite)
See Megan Raymond's shots when UMES came from behind to win the 2015 MEAC Championship.
See Nick Sutton's shots from day two of the 2015 MEAC Women's Bowling Championship.
See Nick Sutton's shots from day one of the 2015 MEAC Women's Bowling Championships
Bandy comes to UMES from the University of Pikeville, where most recently she served as the assistant coach for the Bears.
In her first season as head coach, Bandy led the program to a seventh Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championship and an 11th straight NCAA Championship appearance. Her team made it all the way to the semi-finals of the NCAAs falling to eventual champion Sam Houston State to finish in third place. They put together a 95-23 record and were 28-2 in conference play. Her teams excelled off the lanes as well, winning the NTCA All-Academic award for having the highest GPA among all women's bowling teams in the nation (a first for UMES) while capturing the UMES Team of Scholars Award, having the highest team GPA of any team at the school.
While Pikeville bowls as an NAIA school, they are all too familiar to the Hawks. In 2008, Bandy bowled lead-off on the squad that topped UMES in the semi-finals of the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Intercollegiate Team Championships. It was one of the most intense matches ever in the event, ending in favor of Pikeville 4.5-3.5. The Bears went on to win the school's second national championship in the final match. UMES had to settle with just title that year as they were coming off of their first NCAA National Championship a week earlier.
Five years later in 2013, she was on the bench coaching when UMES topped Pikeville for the Hawks' fifth National Championship and second USBC Collegiate title.
"Kayla is very familiar with our program and that is a good thing, she sees the level we are bowling on and knows from her own experiences bowling and coaching what needs to be done to keep us on that level," Director of Athletics Keith Davidson added.
"I'm excited for the 2013-14 season at UMES," said Bandy. "The season will bring about many new experiences for me as a coach, especially transitioning to the NCAA side of the sport. I am excited to now be a head coach for the first time as well as help continue the great traditions already established here."
As a bowler, Bandy is a two-time Junior Team USA Member (2005-06) and bowled at Pikeville from 2005-2008. She was a four-time All-American, was named Rookie of the Year in 2005 and was the Collegiate Bowler of the Year by the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association (NCBCA) and the then Bowling Writers of America (BWAA) in both 2007 and 2008. At the time, she was just the fourth woman ever to win multiple Player of the Year awards. Her senior year she amassed an average of 202 on the difficult sport patterns.
"After coaching for five years with Ron Damron, the legendary head coach at the University of Pikeville, winning a National Championship in 2008, and from my own experiences as a collegiate bowler, I am ready to win another National title with my new UMES family," said Bandy.
Bandy graduated from Pikeville in 2008 with a B.S. in Psychology and is currently pursuing her Master's in Sport Management from Morehead State University. Bandy not only served as the Assistant Coach at Pikeville, but also worked as their Director of Residence Life, Student Activities Coordinator and Upward Bound Coordinator during her tenure.
Bandy was inducted into the Pikeville Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014, the same year she entered the Danville (Va.) USBC Hall of Fame. She is also a member of the Virginia State USBC Youth Hall of Fame.
Bandy now resides in Salisbury, Md. and is the daughter of Pamela and David Bandy of Danville, Va.