Men's College Soccer

Cowman picked to build JWCC men's soccer program

Bob Cowman
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 4, 2017 10:40 pm

QUINCY -- Bob Cowman actually was considering slowing down.

Cowman is the lead pastor at Columbus Road Baptist Church in Quincy. He's helped coach boys and girls soccer at Quincy High School since his family came to town in 2005, and he still races on weekends in the sport modified division at Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa.

He turns 52 this week, and after coaching soccer for more than 25 years, he thought he might give it up.

"And then the other day, I was looking in a hunting magazine, and a guy who was 77 years old had taken the largest buck of his life," Cowman said. "Two days later, I get a magazine called Speedway, and there's a story about a 62-year-old guy who wins a track championship.

"It made me question myself. Why do you think you need to slow down? Sometimes we all believe our better days are behind us, but we just convince ourselves and live it out. I'm not going to do that."

Cowman was introduced Monday as the men's soccer coach at John Wood Community College. His assistant will be Eric Stratman, a long-time assistant at Quincy High School who played on the first JWCC soccer team in 1992. They'll be building the program from scratch. JWCC last fielded a men's soccer team in 1995 but plans to have a team ready to go next fall.

"The opportunity to start something from scratch, and the fact Eric wants to be heavily involved, was very intriguing," Cowman said. "I'm not foreign to working on things that need to be repaired or started."

Cowman also was an assistant on the Hannibal-LaGrange University women's soccer team for four years, and he coached club teams with the Quincy United Soccer Club since his arrival in Quincy. He served as the club's director of coaching for four years.

His last job as the head coach of a high school or college team was in 2004 at Norwalk (Ohio) High School.

"I like being involved in the lives of young men," Cowman said. "I see a great opportunity there. You use your platforms to impact people."

Cowman said he originally expressed interest in the girls position, but Brad Hoyt, director of athletics at JWCC, said he wanted him involved in the program, regardless of which team.

"It was just a matter of finding the right fit," Hoyt said. "He's got such a unique background, and we can use that expertise in a variety of ways. The more I talked to him, the more comfortable we became. He'll add significant value."

Hoyt said the college has had "double-figure interest" for each of the coaching positions for the new sports -- men's soccer, women's soccer and volleyball. He said he didn't think there was "any question" that the other two positions will be filled before the college breaks for the holidays.

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