Volunteer Assistant Coach
He served the dual
role of athletic director and basketball coach from 1995 until 2005 and assumed
the full-time position as AD at the end of his coaching career until his
retirement from UW-River Falls June 21, 2010.
Bowen came to UW-RF in 1986 following five years as a Wisconsin Badger assistant coach where he served on the staff with current Badger Coach Bo Ryan. He previously was an assistant coach at Ball State University, working under Coach Steve Yoder at both institutions.
Bowen currently is seventh all time in the WIAC win column. His 259 victories at UW-River Falls put him first all-time in Falcon victories.
The 2003-04 season ended 54 years of Falcon basketball frustration when the Falcons hit the 20-win mark for the first time since the 1950 season and brought a WIAC championship home to the campus and the city of River Falls. He earned the WIAC basketball Coach of the Year award and his peers also selected him as the NABC West Region Coach of the Year. In 2006-07 the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) awarded Bowen with the National Service Award for his contributions to Division III basketball. He is currently the NABC’s national chair of the Division III All-American Committee. For his extensive service and dedication to basketball in the state of Wisconsin, Bowen was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Hall of Fame by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association in October 2009
Since the turn of the new century the Falcons have been 89-48 finishing 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in the nation's most competitive basketball conference. The seven consecutive winning seasons from 1989 to 1996 was a stretch that was last equaled in the 1915-22 Falcon basketball seasons. Bowen's Falcons made school history for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th time by landing a spot in the NAIA District 14 playoffs in 1987, 1990, 1991 and 1992.
Bowen graduated from Indiana University in 1966. He served the Hoosiers as a student-manager under two-time National Champion Coach Branch McCracken. Like his father, BSU head coach Matt Bowen was a basketball manager at Indiana University under Coach Bob Knight. Basketball runs deep in the Bowen family. Grandfather Vernie Bowen was an Indiana High School coach for 40 years. in Mishawaka, Indiana.
Bowen began his career in Indiana teaching government and coaching basketball. He earned a Masters degree from St. Francis in 1971. He served in the United States Army as a combat medic from 1967-69 with service in Vietnam from December of 1967 to December of 1968. For his actions in Vietnam he was awarded a Bronze Star.
Rick and his wife Sandy met as students while at Indiana University. They have been married for 44years and have two sons, Matt and Mike. Sandy is retired after teaching cell biology and botany at River Falls High School.
Information courtesy of UW-River Falls sports information.