Get to Know IPF: James Kieselbach

A white man with short hair glasses and wearing a red hoodie smiles at the camera.

May 13, 2021

James Kieselbach is a tried-and-true Spartan, spending his days ensuring MSU’s indoor spaces are ready for both regular activities and special events. Outside of IPF, you’ll likely find him coaching youth bowling leagues.

A Spartan since entering MSU as a student in 1989, James began working for Central Control in 1990. Central Control monitors, schedules, and controls heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment for over 90 percent of campus. That includes dorms, offices, research facilities, and athletic facilities.

Keiselbach’s focuses are special requests and project work. This could be football games, concerts, staff holiday parties, conferences, and more. “It could be as simple as adding some new room sensors to our database, or as complicated as formulating entirely new programs to run equipment in a more energy efficient way.”

Outside of MSU, Keiselbach’s focus is different: a 60-foot lane with ten pins at the end.

Kieselbach has been bowling since he was nine years old and began coaching the sport at 19. “I became a certified youth coach along with my girlfriend at the time, now my wife,” he says. In 2012, when his son tried out for the boy’s bowling team, he noticed that the head coach had his hands full handling a group of 15 teenagers on his own. He volunteered to help out and has been coaching high school bowling ever since.

This season he has also taken on the role of assistant coach for the girls’ bowling team. Though opportunities to compete have been limited because of COVID-19, the girls’ team took the Capital Area Activities Conference (CAAC) Red Division with a 9-1 record, won the Division 2 Region 10 championship in Kalamazoo, and came within 23 pins of clinching the Division 2 state championship in Waterford. Four of his bowlers qualified for State singles, and three of them also qualified for All-State honors as well.

For Kieselbach, the most rewarding part of coaching is the effect the experience can have on the young people he coaches.

“It’s seeing the light go on in these young people’s eyes when they grasp a new concept and apply to their bowling,” he says. “It’s seeing their self-confidence skyrocket when they start believing in themselves and what they are capable of doing.”

Outside of IPF and coaching, James will be celebrating his 27th anniversary with his wife this year. He also continues to chase his fourth 300 game, a perfect score in bowling.