Aug 18, 2019

Keeper of the bowling shoes

When entering the University Student Union, you can start to hear the loud crashing of bowling pins.

Walk in and you might see students in bowling class, eating lunch or shooting pool.

Noah Coble is one of the people behind the desk. When someone needs shoes, he’s the one to get them from.

When the shoes are returned, he sprays the insides of them with a disinfectant so the next user has less of a chance of catching athlete’s foot.

Coble is easy to recognize. His brown, curly hair makes him look like Hyde in “That 70’s Show,” but without the aviator sunglasses and AC/DC T-shirt.

The most difficult part of the job, Coble says, is keeping University High School and Hoover High School students out during the weekday hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. when they are trying to ditch their class.

Coble tries to keep an eye out for people who aren’t regulars. He said can tell by the look on someone’s face when they are somewhere they aren’t supposed to be.

Coble likes working in the bowling alley at Fresno State. Most of the busy times for him are on the weekends.

He mostly works during school days, but since he isn’t a student, he doesn’t need to revolve his work schedule around classes.

When a bowling class starts, he has to click on the day and time to load the class leagues onto the teleprompters.

But it isn’t Coble who makes a ball return if it gets jammed in the alley or if the retractable arm stays down. If you call on him to reset your lane, he merely pages a coworker hidden behind the alley to manually reset it.

In times when people aren’t around the desk, he picks up trash, wipes down tables and polishes bowling balls.

He’s started to bowl a little more since starting to work in the Fresno State bowling alley in June, but after all those hours he still hasn’t seen anyone throw a perfect 300 game.

“Nothing really exciting ever happens here,” Coble says. “A guy got sick once and threw up on a pool table ….. but he still made it in the pocket. Other than that, it’s a really nice job.”

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