Mishawaka has decided to join a movement that’s going on across the state honoring West Washington varsity football coach and AD, Phillip Bowsman. Schools all across Indiana are turning on their football stadium lights to let the West Washington community know they are being thought of. “Campbellsburg is over 200 miles away but their loss is being felt all the way up here,” said Mishawaka Director of Athletics Dean Huppert. “What happened is unimaginable. We feel for those kids, coaches and the Bowsman Family.” Cavemen Football Coach Keith Kinder said, “What makes coaching high school so rewarding is the opportunity to impact the lives of people in your community. Bay all accounts, Coach Bowsman impacted countless lives during his tenure at West Washington. Showing our appreciation for the dedication he displayed as the leader of that program is what high school football in Indiana is all about.”
Coach Bowsman passed away Monday afternoon after complications related to a stroke he suffered during a game on Friday. It wasn’t just any game, the Senators were playing in the 1A football semi-state. Bowsman underwent brain surgery Friday night and died a few days later Monday after he was removed from a ventilator. A statement from West Washington School Corporation said, “In true Coach Bowsman fashion, he made his final act of giving by being an organ donor.”
Bowsman had been employed at W. Washington for 19 years. He was a health and PE teacher and was an assistant coach for several sports. He became the varsity football coach and held that position for 19 years. He had also been the athletic director the past 7 years.
Mishawaka has a graphic up that says, “#BowsmanStrong Mishawaka is Thinking About West Washington.” Instead of teams on the scoreboard, it reads, “Bowsman” and “Strong”. Where the time is, the year 2019 is displayed, and where the score normally would be, the numbers 11 and 29 are on the board signifying today’s date.