To those who knew Gary Fowler he was a heroic example of strength and courage in the face of adversity. Each season, Bowie Baseball hosts the annual Gary Fowler Memorial Golf Tournament, honors one of its own with an award bearing Gary’s name, and awards scholarships to select seniors in his memory. All Dawgs fans should know why.
Gary Blaine Fowler, loving husband, father, friend, coach and educator, died of brain cancer on October 23, 2003, at the age of 45. Gary is survived by his wife Nancy and two children, Mackenzie Blaine and Eric Allen. Gary graduated from Anderson High School in 1977 and from The University of Texas at Austin in 1981, where he received a bachelor’s degree in finance. After graduation, he worked at First City Bank and later as a financial planner with Ronald Blue & Company. But Gary’s dream was to be a teacher and baseball coach, so he returned to UT and obtained his teaching certificate in 1989.
He went to work immediately afterward at Johnston High School, teaching math and coaching baseball until 1994. He then became the head baseball coach at Hyde Park Baptist High School, where he also taught history and coached junior high football until 1997. That fall, Gary moved to Bowie High School as a math teacher and baseball and football coach, where he worked until his death. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Gary was very involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Bowie and volunteered for 12 years with Young Life.
On the morning of June 8, 2002, as he and the Bulldogs were preparing for the State Championship game at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Gary experienced his first neurological symptoms. His right leg had lost feeling and he couldn’t stand. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where doctors later diagnosed him with a malignant brain tumor. Bowie lost the game to Fort Bend Elkins, the number one team in the nation. Gary was tragically unable to make it to the biggest game of his career, and instead was beginning the very literal game of his life.
After learning of his illness, Gary reached out to thousands more by traveling the state and speaking to school and church groups about the joy in overcoming adversity and the peace he felt living life one day at a time. Scores of people counted Gary as one of their closest friends.
Gary’s legacy is the myriad of lives he touched through his leadership, his exceptional character, his committed relationships, and the Christ-like manner in which he led his life.
Read more about Coach Fowler: