Former Viking mentor Richard Bowman passes at 82

Photo: KPUG

Former Viking mentor Richard Bowman passes at 82

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Richard “Dick” Bowman, who coached men’s cross country and track & field and was an assistant professor of physical education at Western Washington University from 1969 to 1973, passed away on June 27.

Bowman, 82, coached two Viking athletes who were later inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame – distance runner Larry Nielson and hurdler Mike Vorce. He also invented and patented a starting block for track runners that was produced by the Western Technology Department.

Bowman’s 1972 cross country team won both the Evergreen Conference and NAIA District 1 titles and placed 22nd at the NAIA National Championships. That earned him district Coach of the Year honors.

In 1972, Bowman was selected to lead a group of Olympic bound American athletes on a tour to Australia.

Prior to coming to Western, Bowman coached and taught for five years (1963-68) at Olympic CC and one year (1968-69) at Montana State University. He obtained his bachelor’s degree at Ball State University and his master’s degree at University of Colorado.

Besides Neilson and Magee, other standout WWU athletes coached by Bowman included Tim Duncan, Russ Fuller, Dick Henrie, Jim Magee, Fred New, Mark Salzman, Paul Scovel, Mike Shaw and Scott Taylor.

Bowman is survived by his wife, Edna Mae, six children and nine grandchildren.

Services will be held Wednesday, July 3 (3 p.m.), at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1525 Electric Ave., Bellingham.