Washington Evening Journal
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Bowlin ready to lead Panthers
Mt. Pleasant graduate moving back to take helm as head football coach
MT. PLEASANT — It was 20 years ago that John Bowlin last put on the pads for the Mt. Pleasant Panthers. Now, 20 years later, he’ll be putting on the headset.
Bowlin accepted Mt. Pleasant football job earlier this month after a thinking long and hard about leaving Iowa Valley, where he has taught for 15 years.
“My wife and I, if we were ever going to consider going somewhere, it would be my hometown or hers,” Bowling said. “We were very happy at Iowa Valley, but it was the only thing that would pull us away from here.”
Bowlin has been the head coach at Iowa Valley for the past three years, where he most recently went 6-4. The Tigers are common opponents for the other three Henry County teams; New London, WACO and Winfield-Mount Union.
Bowlin will be moving to Mt. Pleasant with his wife and there kids, aged 7, 5 and 2. He says moving to a familiar community will ease the nerves of starting fresh.
“Having those familiar faces, and just good people just made us feel welcome,” Bowlin said. “That was a big thing for us coming that way.”
Bowlin was in high school when current Athletic Director Scott Lamm was hired, as well as current principal Mike Wilson. He played under former coach Bob Jensen.
“I’m excited,” Bowlin said. “I talked to Coach (Jensen) just last weekend, and he let me know how excited he was for, and I let him know how much I have appreciated him as a coach.”
After high school, Bowlin went on to play football at Coe College.
Bowlin will take over for a Mt. Pleasant team that has struggled mightily over the last two years. After going 20-14 from 2017-2019, the Panthers went 4-4 in 2020, 1-8 in 2021 and 0-9 in 2022.
Bowlin says he’s excited to get the ball rolling.
“They have athletes down there, and they have kids that I think will be able to get after it,” Bowlin said. “Little by little, we'll just try to progress as we go.”
Bowlin will work in the at-risk classroom at the high school. His wife also will be joining the high school, as an English teacher.
Bowlin’s first year at Mt. Pleasant will see him moving from a Class 8-Player coach to a Class 3A coach. He says he has been in contact with 11-Player coaches, who are helping him with the transition. The Panthers are going through a transition of their own already, as Mt. Pleasant moves back down to Class 3A from Class 4A this season.