Former WWU cross country, track and field coach dies


Richard "Dick" Bowman, who coached men's cross country and track & field and was an assistant professor of physical education at Western Washington University from 1969 to 1973, died June 27.

Bowman, 82, coached two Viking athletes who were later inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Fame - distance runner Larry Nielson and hurdler Mike Vorce. He also invented and patented a starting block for track runners that was produced by the Western Technology Department.

Bowman's 1972 cross country team won both the Evergreen Conference and NAIA District 1 titles and placed 22nd at the NAIA National Championships. That earned him district Coach of the Year honors.

In 1972, Bowman was selected to lead a group of Olympic bound American athletes on a tour to Australia.

Prior to coming to Western, Bowman coached and taught for five years (1963-68) at Olympic CC and one year (1968-69) at Montana State University. He obtained his bachelor's degree at Ball State University and his master's degree at University of Colorado.

Services will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at1525 Electric Ave.

Memories can be shared online at

Bellingham Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service