Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year Award

Date Name
2013 E.J. Tackett
2012 Josh Blanchard
2011 Scott Norton
2010 Anthony LaCaze
2009 Jason Belmonte
2008 Rhino Page
2007 Billy Oatman
2006 Bill O'Neill
2005 Not awarded
2004 Chris Johnson
2003 Brad Angelo
2002 * Tommy Jones
2000 Joe Ciccone
1999 Paul Fleming
1998 Chris Barnes
1997 Anthony Lombardo
1996 C.K. Moore
1995 Billy Myers Jr.
1994 Tony Ament Jr.
1993 Mark Scroggins
1992 Jason Couch
1991 Ricky Ward
1990 Brad Kiszewski
1989 Steve Hoskins
1988 Rick Steelsmith
1987 Ryan Shafer
1986 Marc McDowell
1985 Tom Crites
1984 John Gant
1983 Toby Contreras
1982 Mike Steinbach
1981 Mark Fahy
1980 Pete Weber
1979 Mike Aulby
1978 Joseph Groskind
1977 Steve Martin
1976 Mike Berlin
1975 Guy Rowbury
1974 Cliff McNealy
1973 Steve Neff
1972 Tommy Hudson
1971 Tye Critchlow
1970 Denny Krick
1969 Larry Lichstein
1968 Bob McGregor
1967 Mike Durbin
1966 Bobby Cooper
1965 Jim Godman
1964 Jerry McCoy


E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind., has been selected as 2012-13 Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year by an overwhelming margin in voting by PBA members and veteran bowling journalists.

The end-of-season awards announcements culminate an expanded 14-month campaign that began in November 2012 and ended Dec. 31, 2013, as the PBA returned to a traditional calendar year season that began on Jan. 1.

Tackett, a 21-year-old two-time Junior Team USA and one-time adult Team USA member, was thrilled with his award.

"It's awesome," he said. "I joined a pretty good list of guys, a bunch of hall of famers and future hall of famers, so I'm in pretty good company."

Tackett, who left Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne to begin his PBA Tour career in time for the 2013 PBA Winter Swing in Detroit, was the overwhelming choice over Shawn Maldonado, Houston; Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich.; Mik Stampe, Denmark, and Bryan Viator, Friendswood, Texas. Tackett's abbreviated season included a fourth-place finish in the Wolf Open during the 2013 PBA Summer Swing, a sixth-place finish in the U.S. Open and a third-place finish in the end-of-season Round1 Japan Cup, which he entered as a non-invited TQR competitor.

Tackett, who ironically was attending IPFW on a golf scholarship, said he wasn't ready to pursue his college education.

"I was there for a year and a half, but I just really got unhappy with what I was doing," he said "I had no desire to be in school, and it reflected on my school work, so I decided to stop dragging it out and try my hand at the Tour."

He made his PBA Tour debut during the Winter Swing in Detroit where he cashed in three of four events. He made his first television appearance in the Wolf Open in Milwaukee, finishing fourth. PBA World Series of Bowling V was "a little disappointing," he said. "I didn't make a show after being inside the cut three different times, but I had three top 10s, so it wasn't terrible.

"The best tournament I've had was in Japan, and the second best was sixth in the U.S. Open," he said. "That was personally a better tournament than finishing fourth in the Wolf Open."

Tackett's next appearance will be in the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, which gets underway Saturday at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich. He earned his way into the TOC by winning a PBA Central Region title in May in Ohio.

And his next goal? "A title, for sure," he said.

*The 2002 awards where based on the 2001-02 season, marking a transition from calendar-year to seasonal.