Parkland Basketball Introduces John Bowler as Next Head Coach
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Parkland Basketball Introduces John Bowler as Next Head Coach

The former University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee assistant coach becomes the 11th head coach in Parkland men’s basketball history

Parkland College Athletics and Cobras Basketball are proud to announce that former University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Assistant Coach John Bowler as the next head coach of the Parkland Cobras men’s basketball program. The Chicago native brings nine years of coaching experience at both the NJCAA and the NCAA level to Parkland. In addition to coaching, Bowler will also work as an assistant athletic director and an academic advisor for Parkland College. 


“It is truly an honor to be named the next head coach at Parkland College,” Bowler said in a statement. “Cobras basketball has a rich tradition of, not only winning, but graduating student-athletes and moving them on to four-year institutions throughout the country. I have great respect for the foundation that Coach Figueroa has laid here, and I look forward to building on that foundation and continuing that standard of excellence on and off the court.” 


Basketball has always been an important part of Bowler’s life. In high school, John was a three-time Chicago Tribune All-Area selection at Notre Dame College Prep before committing to Eastern Michigan University in 2002. By his senior year, Bowler was a First Team All-Conference player, leading the league in scoring and rebounding in 2006. His 20 points and 11 rebounds per game ranked 25th and 11th respectively in the NCAA that season. Bowler went on to play six seasons of professional basketball in Germany in the country’s highest division from 2006-2012. 


“Basketball has been a central part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Bowler reveals, “What drew me to the game as a young player is the same thing that I look forward to daily as a coach: competition. I love to compete, and my coaching staff and I will build a program that competes daily in all that we do.” 


Bowler began his coaching career in 2013 as a graduate assistant at Delta State University, in Cleveland, Mississippi, where he earned his master’s degree in Education of Sports and Human Performance. In 2014, while completing his degree, Bowler became the Associate Head Coach and Assistant Housing Director at Des Moines Area Community College. Bowler held this position until he was promoted to Head Coach and Academic Advisor at DMACC for the 2018-2019 season. In five seasons at Des Moines, Bowler produced three NJCAA All-Americans, four NJCAA All-Region selections and 11 ICCAC All-Conference players. From 2014-2019, John Bowler’s staff had 12 junior college athletes transfer to NCAA Division I programs, and 11 players transfer to Division II programs, the most of any junior college at that level. In 2019, Bowler joined the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee coaching staff as an assistant, where he served until his hire at Parkland. 


Parkland College athletic director Brendan McHale sees a lot of promise in new head coach John Bowler, saying, “Parkland College Athletics is very fortunate and excited to announce that coach John Bowler will be the next head coach of the Cobra Men’s Basketball program. We are looking forward to seeing Coach Bowler showcase his experiences and talents both now and in the future. John complements our existing and talented Cobra coaching staff very well.” 


“I have been blessed to form lifelong friendships with teammates, coaches, colleagues and campus personnel from every step on my basketball journey,” Bowler said. “I look forward to developing more of those relationships here at Parkland.” 


Original story by Nathan DeHaan

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