When Quentin Bowen returned to his alma mater Snider in 2004 as an assistant coach, the goal was at some point take over a high school football program.
After close to two decades under the tutelage of guys like Russ Isaacs and Kurt Tippmann, Bowen is getting the opportunity.
The Fort Wayne Community Schools school board approved the hiring of Bowen on Monday to succeed Jason Doerffler as head coach at Northrop. Doerffler departed in May to take the coaching job at Leo.
“It has been my dream to get this opportunity,” said Bowen, who coached running backs at Snider for over a decade before ascending to the offensive coordinator position last year. “Northrop is about the same size as Snider, same demographics. The similarities between the two schools made me very interested.”
Bowen not only has significant coaching experience within FWCS, but also professionally. He serves as a senior network technician handling IT in a trio of schools and is based at Jefferson Middle School, one of Northrop’s two middle school “feeders” along with Shawnee.
“Being able to be around those younger kids will help as we try to get them to Northrop,” Bowen said. “And with the day ending sooner at Jefferson than at Northrop, I will be able to get over there and be in the building over the final hour or so.”
Bowen takes over the program with a dubious streak hanging above it – 18 consecutive seasons without a winning record dating back to 2003. While Doerffler was able to bring the Bruins up to a level of respectability over the last few years – which included some notable wins over the likes of Carroll and Homestead – breaking into the level of the top teams in the league has proven elusive.
With Northrop also the biggest high school in the district and entrenched in Class 6A for the foreseeable future, the challenge is magnified.
But Bowen is ready to take on the difficult task.
“We just have to get the kids to believe and buy in,” Bowen said. “They have to want it and they have to believe you want it too.
“(Coach Doerffler) did a great job. He was very organization and ran a great program, but I want to go in and put my spin on things.”
Bowen is hoping the impact he made over nearly two decades coaching at Snider will carry over to a new locale. He has the blessing of his former boss.
“We are very happy for Coach Bowen as he pursues his head coaching career, but at the same time very reluctant and sad to have a great coach and man leave the program,” said Coach Tippmann. “Coach Bowen has left an indelible mark on our football program and the many players’ lives he touched over his 17 years as a coach. He will be dearly missed.”
Northrop finished 3-7 a season ago, capped by a 21-17 sectional loss to Snider. The defense is set to return arguably two of the best players in the conference at their respective positions – junior defensive end Julante Hinton and senior safety C.J. Davis.