Bowerman leaving for alma mater Fayetteville
■ He was an assistant football coach for two seasons.
The Siloam Springs football program will look to hire two new coaches this summer.
Assistant coach and acting defensive coordinator Jeff Bowerman announced last Friday that he is taking an assistant coach’s position at his alma mater, Fayetteville, according to Panthers head coach Bryan Ross.
Siloam Springs will look to fill his position, along with that of defensive coordinator Marc Jones, who has been out since early March after suffering a stroke.
Jones has not resigned his position, but Ross was given the all-clear to go ahead and fill his position for the upcoming 2017 football season. When Jones comes back, the Panthers will operate with one more varsity coach for a total of eight.
“We’ll be hiring two coaches,” Ross said. “One will definitely be a defensive coach/coordinator. The other one — we have some flexibility on the staff — it could be offense, it could be defense.”
Bowerman joined the Panthers staff prior to the 2015 season as a defensive line coach and assistant softball coach after two seasons as head ninth grade coach at Springdale Lakeside.
He quickly became a popular figure among both the football and softball programs.
Prior to the 2016 season, he was given the title codefensive coordinator along with Jones, who is one of his mentors. He was also the head eighth-grade football coach last year.
“I hate to lose Jeff,” Ross said. “Jeff’s a great guy and a good coach. But it’s an opportunity for him to go back home and coach where he graduated and be a part of a really good program. You can’t blame a guy for that.”
Bowerman, a 1990 Fayetteville High School graduate and former Arkansas Razorback, will join first-year
S iloam Springs is an awesome community, and I appreciate the opportunity that Bryan Ross, Kevin Downing, Jason Jones and Ken Ramey provided me. — Jeff Bowerman
head coach Billy Dawson at Fayetteville. Dawson, the former Siloam Springs head coach (2004) was hired a few months ago to replace Bill Blankenship, who guided the Purple Bulldogs to the Class 7A state title.
On Wednesday, Bowerman expressed his gratitude for being able to coach in Siloam Springs. He wrapped up spring ball with the Panthers last week and has already begun practicing with Fayetteville.
“Siloam Springs is an awesome community, and I appreciate the opportunity that Bryan Ross, Kevin Downing, Jason Jones and Ken Ramey provided me,” Bowerman said. “I love and will miss all the student athletes that I coached. I look forward to returning home and coaching at my alma mater.”
The Panthers hope to get Jones — a 30-year coaching veteran — back for this season, but Jones and the coaches know he won’t be at full speed when he returns.
“We’ll see what he can do,” Ross said. “He knows he won’t be able to do everything. He’ll be very limited. Just having a guy of his experience and stature around is good. I know the kids miss having him around.
“You know I think the kids handle it better than the adults do. They still ask about coach. We’d like to see him get back out. But they also keep going forward with what we ask them to do. It’s like I told them, it’s been a crazy, chaotic spring, but I felt like we got maybe as much out of this spring as we have in others. It’s been a lot more spread out. We’ve been able to get a lot of football work in.”