You could not have won a better award.This award was named
after one of the nicest and most influential person in bowling.
Dan passed away to soon.I was there on July 31, 2004
at Lodge Lanes in Belleville,MI at a MJMA tournament to
watch some of my friends family members bowl.When he didn't
show up in the morning you could hear a pin drop.He was
This article is about Dan from the PBA,it will tell so something
about the man.Then you will know why they named the award
Article written by the Detroit Free Press' Matt Fiorito: Bowling, especially in Detroit and Michigan, has lost a great promoter, a great booster, a great champion, a great ambassador and just a plain great guy. Dan Ottman, who lived for bowling, died in his sleep early Saturday at a motel in Belleville, a hundred yards away from Lodge Lanes where he was about to open the 19th season of the Michigan Junior Masters Association, a tournament group he had directed since he co-founded it in 1986. He was 47. Ottman, of Troy, Mich., also was the Pro Bowlers Association Central Region director, which combined with the Junior Masters Association and his involvement in several leagues, kept him going at a pace few could follow. However, that pace also took its toll on him, and he had been treated recently for heart problems. He had posted a notice on a PBA Web forum Wednesday that he had an appointment scheduled with a cardiologist to discuss the possibility of a pacemaker. News of his death has stunned the bowling community throughout the Midwest, and the PBA Web site has been flooded with memorial posts and condolences. On Saturday at Lodge Lanes, the 100 youth bowlers who had gathered there voted to go on with the tournament in his memory. "Obviously it was pretty confusing," said Jerry Tarabek, a member of the MJMA board of directors. "We gave the kids the opportunity to choose, and not one kid stepped out of the tournament. We continued as Dan would have wanted us to. We plan to keep the MJMA going, but he will be sorely missed." That was plainly evident by the reactions of others as they became informed of his death. "We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dan Ottman," said Mark Bisbing, PBA vice president of operations. "He was a great ambassador.'' "There's really not any aspect of bowling in the city that he hasn't touched and made better,'' said Lee Snow, a longtime friend, teammate and former college opponent who worked with Ottman on the regional tour for four years. "He worked with the Greater Detroit Bowling Association, the proprietors, the Michigan Majors and especially the kids. There are hundreds of young adults and kids who have been made better bowlers through the MJMA and Dan's help." Since its inception, the MJMA has awarded about $475,000 in scholarships. Among Ottman's MJMA graduates are PBA members Kurt Pilon, who acknowledged Ottman when he won his first title, and Chris Sand, along with PWBA titlist Lisa Bishop. The MJMA was his pride and joy and even as his duties with the PBA increased, he just stretched out his workday to be able to stay with his kids. He would have been proud that the winners of Saturday's MJMA season-opener - Jennifer Churchill of Windsor and Brandon Gibson of Kalamazoo - were first time winners. Two weeks ago, the news that MJMA bowler Ronnie Sparks Jr. had qualified for Junior Team USA brightened up what had been a tough day - distressing news late in the afternoon from his cardiologist followed by a long drive to Cincinnati to set up a PBA regional. "Dan had more passion for bowling than most people have for their own lives," said Scott Bennett, executive director of the Bowling Centers Association of Michigan. "He worked with me for two years and helped educate me in the details of the game when I joined the proprietors He will be greatly missed.'' Free Press Pistons beat writer and NBA columnist Perry Farrell, who also has a passion for bowling, frequently relied on Ottman for help. "He helped with my game,'' said Farrell who also went to Central Michigan. "We became good friends. He was great for the game and a great person. He will be sorely missed in a lot of areas.'' Making friends was one of Ottman's strengths. Even those who might not have agreed with him all the time respected him deeply. He also was a walking “411”. If someone needed a phone number, Ottman could rattle it off from memory. An obscure fact? At the snap of a finger. Ottman's achievements off the lanes with the MJMA and PBA somewhat obscured that he was one of Detroit's all-time great bowlers. After bowling at Central Michigan University (he was captain in 1977), he was the Detroit All-Star Classic league rookie of the year in 1979-80. He led the Classic in 1986-87 with a 228.96 average and also led the companion All-Star Traveling Classic with a 210.98 average in 1985-86 and a 225.32 average in 1995-96. He was on several league championship teams. He was GDBA king of bowlers in 1986 when he was captain of the All-City first team and was named All-City five times. He formed teams that twice won American Bowling Congress national tournament titles - the regular team championship in 1997 and the team all-events crown in 1999. In 1997 he was elected to the Greater Detroit Bowling Hall of Fame and also was a member of the hall's election committee. In a way, saying that bowling was Ottman's life was not an exaggeration. His sister Cathy remembers him getting a set of bowling pins for Christmas just after his first birthday. "He was 13 months old,'' she said. "I can see him throwing the ball down the hallway toward the closet.'' At age 6, he appeared on the Captain Jolly show on Channel 9 in Windsor and won a bowling contest with a ball as a prize. "I think that was his first real ball,'' Cathy said. She also remembers him pedaling furiously in a little four-wheel toy car, which also became prophetic. Ottman had an aversion to flying and took trains or drove wherever he had to go. He was constantly going over-mileage on his leased cars.
Angela Wilt:MOTIV Staff Member