For 16 years, Mark Bowlan's life has been tied to Shawnee High School athletics, first as a player, then as an assistant coach.
Now he's taking the next step on that path. Last week, Bowlan was named Shawnee's athletic director, filling the void left by Steve Fluke.
Fluke was hired as an assistant athletic director at Oklahoma Baptist in May.
“I'm real excited,” Bowlan said. “It's been pretty crazy the last couple weeks trying to get caught up, because we went two months without an athletic director. But we're about to get caught up now.”
Bowlan has been coaching a variety of sports at Shawnee over the last 12 years, starting with four years as an adjunct assistant coach immediately after he finished high school.
After graduating from Oklahoma Baptist eight years ago, he was hired as a math teacher and has been an assistant coach for the Wolves' football, basketball and golf teams.
Bowlan will relinquish his coaching and teaching roles to focus full-time on the athletic director's job. He will hold the position on an interim basis for the 2011-12 school year, with the potential to become permanent next summer.
Bowlan says he has relied on Fluke and Mike Sperry, Shawnee's last two ADs, for advice in his new job.
“I go to church with both of those guys,” he said. “Those are two good resources to have in your back pocket to bounce ideas off of, or to talk to just for encouragement, really.”
SEROWSKI LANDS AT COLORADO STATE
It wasn't the obvious path, but former Southmoore football and track standout Derek Serowski will get his chance to play Division I football.
The 6-foot-4, 187-pound wide receiver signed with Colorado State earlier this week, just a couple days before the Rams opened camp.
Serowski originally signed with Central Oklahoma in February 2010, but instead walked on at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. After one month, he left the school and returned home. He took classes at UCO last spring.
In addition to being a key player on the SaberCats' 2009 football team, he helped the track team win a state title. Serowski won four gold medals — two individual and two relays — and was named The Oklahoman's Big All-City Boys Track Athlete of the Year.
He will be ineligible to play this season at Colorado State, but will have three years of eligibility remaining starting with the 2012 season.
He becomes the second Southmoore player on the Rams' roster, along with lineman Mason Myers.
CHALLENGE EXTENDED TO DOUGLASS FANS
Douglass Trojan fans, the challenge has been issued.
The Kirk Herbstreit Kickoff Classic is trying to find the best fan base among the 16 schools competing in its football games in Ohio and Texas next month.
The contest is completely based on fan voting, and the winner will be announced on ESPN and Fox Sports during the event on Labor Day weekend.
Voting is now open on event's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HerbstreitFootball, and concludes Sept. 2. Fans can vote as many times as they wish.
Douglass compete in the Herbstreit Kickoff Classic against DeSoto (Texas) High School at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for adults, and can be purchased at http://herbstreitfootballseries.com. Tickets are good for entry to all four games at Cowboys Stadium that day.