Willamette Promotes Glen Fowles to Head Football Coach

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University has promoted Glen Fowles to be the head football coach of the Bearcats, Athletic Director David Rigsby announced today. Fowles previously was the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for the Bearcats. He replaces Mark Speckman, who resigned last week to become the head football coach at Menlo College.

"Glen is the perfect choice to lead our Bearcat football program. Perhaps no other person better understands and appreciates the tradition of Bearcat football and its important connection to the mission of Willamette University,” Rigsby said. “Glen talks with great pride of his Willamette degree and the numerous faculty, staff and coaches who have influenced him. This appointment will allow him to keep giving back to the university and our students."

“For me, Willamette University is home,” Fowles said. “I have met a lot of great people and made many friends in my time at Willamette.

“I am excited about this great opportunity,” Fowles added.  “I am a product of Willamette, and have a passion for this place that transcends football. At this time, I couldn't imagine anyone else being the head coach of this football team. I am excited that we will be able to keep our fantastic staff together. Our players will benefit from our common vision and consistency.

In the fall of 2011, Fowles completed his 14th season as the offensive coordinator and his 16th season as a member of the Willamette football coaching staff. He also has served as the team’s strength and conditioning coordinator.

"During his sixteen year coaching career, Glen has earned the respect and admiration of countless students, alumni, faculty, staff, and coaching colleagues for his tireless work ethic and commitment to the university,” Rigsby said. “He has been recognized nationally for his brilliant offensive mind and is widely regarded on-campus for his ability to recruit, teach, coach and mentor our students."

Fowles has coached five offensive linemen who have earned All-America honors a total of eight times. Brandon Bennett was selected All-America three times (2005, 2006 and 2007) and Billy Joe Murray was named All-America twice (2002, 2003).

During his years with the Bearcats, Fowles has helped Willamette achieve a combined record of 104-62-0 (.627). The Bearcats qualified for the NAIA Division II Playoffs in 1996 and 1997, and competed in the NCAA Division III Playoffs in 1999, 2004 and 2008. Willamette lost in the NAIA national championship game in 1997. Willamette has earned a 57-28-0 (.671) record in the Northwest Conference over the past 14 seasons.

Fowles was the offensive line coach for the Bearcats in 1996 and 1997, before adding offensive coordinator duties in 1998, when Mark Speckman was promoted to head coach. Fowles was named national Coordinator Coach of the Year in 2008, when Willamette went undefeated during the regular season and finished the year 11-1 after qualifying for the NCAA Division III Playoffs. In 2008, WU set school record with 498 points scored and 69 touchdowns.

Willamette averaged at least 200 rushing yards per game during 13 of the 14 years that Fowles served as the offensive coordinator. The Bearcats ranked in the Top 20 in NCAA Division III for 13 consecutive seasons. This fall, playing one of the most difficult schedules in Division III, the Bearcats averaged 220.9 rushing yards per game to rank 30th out of 239 teams.

A native of Canada, Fowles played American football at Westsyde Secondary School in Kamloops, British Columbia. He attended College of the Siskiyous in Weed, Calif., for two seasons of junior college football. He was recruited in part by Dan Hawkins, who later became Willamette’s head coach. Fowles also spent a medical hardship season at Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Mo.

Fowles came to Willamette as a transfer student in 1994 and started two years at offensive tackle. He was named Second Team All-Conference as a junior and was drafted by the Ottawa Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

He chose to return to WU and was Honorable Mention All-NWC as a senior despite missing half the year with a broken leg. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from Willamette in 1996. Fowles and his wife, Rochelle have a son, Gavin, age 4, and a daughter, Raegan, 2 years old.

Willamette Head Football Coach Glen Fowles has been a member of the coaching staff for 16 years.

Willamette Head Football Coach Glen Fowles has been a member of the coaching staff for 16 years.

Glen Fowles was introduced as Willamette's head football coach at a press conference on Jan. 17.

Glen Fowles was introduced as Willamette's head football coach at a press conference on Jan. 17.