Retired high school coach on the Northshore gets a track facility dedicated to him
PEARL RIVER, La. (WVUE) - For Charlie “Coach” Bowman’s colleagues, family, friends and former students, coach means more to them than he will ever know.
“I don’t even understand why people think so much of me. I’m just me. I’m just me. I’m doing what I have done, all my life,” Bowman explained.
Bowman is a retired art teacher, coach, and Pearl River High School athletic director. He spent most of his nearly 40-year career on the track he helped build while also building a program that would go down in Pearl River High history.
“I laid out the first track field with clay dirt on this campus,” Bowman said.
Coach can add another accolade to his resume, the Coach Charlie Bowman Track and Field Facility. The St. Tammany Parish School Board unanimously voted to make the dedication happen in October 2022.
“It was really important to our school and important for us to do for Mr. Bowman to make sure it was something that everybody had a part in,” Pearl River High Principal Treve Jordan-Larsen explained. “Our kids built that sign.”
Coach is no stranger to pushing through and persevering during tough times.
“Nobody ever thought I would amount to anything, you know, but hey, I set my goal, I made my decision, and I work hard, and it all paid off,” Bowman explained.
Now, fighting breast cancer is Coach’s most recent hurdle.
“Five years ago, I had breast cancer, and in that process, they removed the cancer. I went through 5 years of recouperation,” Bowman said “Three months from that time, I was working out in the gym, I put my hands under my arm, and I felt a knot.”
As the field gets dedicated, Coach starts chemo, but just like anything else in his life, he said his faith keeps him going.
“I’m a very spiritual person. God brought me through it the first time. He’s going to bring me through it again,” Bowman said.
Coach is a father of five, grandfather and great-grandfather to 16, a devoted husband to his wife, Mary, and a heavily involved member of Greater Northshore Full Gospel Baptist Church in Slidell.
He said it is all about the journey, and like his pastor Robert J. Taylor told him: “You have to go through to get to.”
“It’s been a great ride. I got to tell you; it’s been a great ride,” Bowman concluded.
The town of Pearl River also named May 20 Coach Charlie Bowman Day.
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