2023 Hall of Fame Inductee
Award accepted by Danny Ayers
Bill Bunetta has a long history with bowling starting in the 1960s. He was intrigued with instruction, development and coaching of many PBA members on the tour and became known as the “Professor”. Many of those that he helped became PBA Hall of Famers. Bill also implemented many rules and regulations that are still used today on the PBA tour including the top 5 stepladder finals format.
Bill also mentored Nelson Burton Jr. as a broadcaster. AMF sent Nelson Burton Jr. to travel with Bill as his understudy for a year. Bill himself was a familiar and popular bowling personality as a TV color commentator and competitor on the popular TV show “Championship Bowling” in the early to the mid-1960’s. Bill was also a commentator on “Celebrity Bowling,” “Make that Spare,” and “Jackpot Bowling.” He shared the mic with such legendary voices as Fred Wolfe of “Championship Bowling”; Jack Drees, the famous voice for ABC and CBS; Bud Palmer, sportscaster and former NBA basketball player for the NY Knicks; ABC sports commentator Keith Jackson, who on March 2, 1969 called the PBA San Jose Open where Johnny Guenther rolled the PBA’s second-ever televised 300 game; and Chris Schenkel, the legendary broadcaster (the voice) for bowling on Wide World of Sports along with Nelson Burton Jr.
A lot has been said about Bill as a bowler, an instructor, a theorist and ambassador of the sport of bowling. It has also been said that Bill was one of the finest and most pleasant men to meet. His character, kindness and love for his family and fellow man was extraordinary. His love for life and his passions were infectious and were felt by everybody that came in contact with him.
Bill had an unprecedented career that saw almost every facet of the sport of bowling. He is an author on ball drilling, a member of 8 Halls of Fame, has 5 USBC Open Championships titles, holds CA State Championships record for most consecutive strikes bowled in one series (32); is the second oldest bowler to shoot 300 in CA State Championships at age 76, has taught in all 50 states and 21 different countries, is a 6X World Team Champion with E&B and Pfeiffers and even has 2 holes in one in golf! Just prior to his passing in 2010, Bill was the recipient of an award re-named in his honor by the IBPSIA. This honor is much overdue and we are proud to honor Bill posthumously this year.