NABC honors Wisconsin-River Falls, Hamilton coaches
The National Association of Basketball Coaches will present its 12th annual Division III Outstanding Service Award to recipients who completed successful coaching careers earlier this decade at Wisconsin-River Falls and Hamilton.
Rick Bowen, current director of athletics at Wisconsin-River Falls and men’s basketball coach there from 1986 to 2006, and Thomas Murphy, currently associate head men’s basketball coach at Northeastern and head coach at Hamilton for 34 seasons ending in 2004, will be honored April 5 at the NABC convention in San Antonio.
The award annually honors coaches whose actions “inside and outside the lines” of coaching have distinguished them as leaders in their communities.
Bowen, who became head coach at Wisconsin-River Falls after serving as an assistant at Ball State and Wisconsin, won more games than any other basketball coach at the school with his 265-249 record. He led the Falcons to a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship in 2004.
He has contributed countless hours and leadership to a variety of community interests, including serving the area chamber of commerce, initiating youth basketball programs and actively participating in the local American Legion. Bowen also received a Bronze Star while serving in Vietnam as a combat medic.
“Nothing is more important to me than being recognized by one’s peers for having tried to do the right thing in one’s profession,” Bowen said after being informed of the award.
Murphy retired as head coach at Hamilton with a 602-262 record -- at the time, ranking third in wins by active Division III coaches. He then coached during the 2006-07 season at SUNY Institute of Technology before joining former Hamilton player Bill Coen’s staff at Northeastern last year.
He also served for 23 years at athletics director at Hamilton and coached baseball, football and track.
Murphy was involved in countless committees working with student-athletes while at Hamilton and helped increase the school’s interaction with the Clinton, New York, community. He was a noted fundraiser and was particularly successful in his involvement with Coaches vs. Cancer.
With the selections of Bowen and Murphy, the NABC has honored 29 Division III Outstanding Service Award recipients.
Previous recipients are:
1997: Jeff Gamber, York (Pennsylvania); Ed Hockenbury, Norwich; and Bill Knapton, Beloit.
1998: Herb Kenny, Wesleyan; Bill Sudeck, Case Western Reserve; and David Wells, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
1999: Will Renken, Albright; Charlie Titus, Massachusetts-Boston; and Al Van Wie, Wooster.
2000: Gale Daugherty, Ohio Northern, and Hal Nunnally, Randolph-Macon.
2001: Bob Bessoir, Scranton, and Jack Thurnblad, Carleton.
2002: Dave Jacobs, Whittier; Gene Mehaffey, Ohio Wesleyan; and Jim Wentworth, Wesley.
2003: C. Alan Rowe, Widener.
2004: Charlie Brock, Springfield, and Ken Kaufman, Worcester Polytechnic.
2005: Phil Ness, Allegheny, and Joe Ramsey, Blackburn and Millikin.
2006: Jim Burson, Muskingum; Joe Campoli, Ohio Northern; and Jim Nelson, Suffolk.
2007: Bob Johnson, Emory & Henry; Gary Smith, Redlands; and Ira Zeff, Nebraska Wesleyan.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association