THE WOODLANDS, Texas, June 24. ESTEEMED coach Dick Bower passed away last night, Sunday, June 23, at the Memorial Herman hospital. Bower suffered a heart attack earlier this month, followed by a severe stroke in his sleep on Thursday, June 13. He was unable to recover from the stroke and was placed on life support at the hospital for over a week so that out of state family members could travel to Texas to offer their last regards. Bower was 83 years old.
Bower spent much of his based out of New Orleans, and moved there nearly 40 years ago after accepting the head coach position at Tulane University. He and his wife, Barbara, recently relocated to The Woodlands after hurricane Katrina damaged much of the city.
Bower was known as difficult and demanding coach that earned respect throughout the swimming community for his success developing swimmers and deep knowledge of the sport. In addition to coaching at Tulane, Bower founded the successful New Orleans USS Swim Club Team BOLTS.
Bower was also very involved with the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association, and was honored with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to Collegiate, Scholastic and United States Swimming at the 2009 NISCA Awards Banquet. See the video clip, with an introduction from former NISCA president Dana Abbott below:
Upon receiving news of Bower's stroke, Abbott sent out the following e-mail:
“I swam for Dick my last 3 years at Tulane at the start of his tenure there. He was and has remained my mentor to this day. I live about 50 miles from him and [his wife] Barbara, and have gone to visit and chat about the 'good old days,' watch Super Bowl games, and just have a meal out with them often since he moved here after Katrina triggered their moving to The Woodlands from New Orleans. On my last visit a couple of months ago, we discussed an(other) article he was writing about swimming. Always the thinker and teacher.”
Bower's daughter Alice is organizing a memorial service for Bower in New Orleans. It is tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in September to coincide with the annual ASCA World Clinic. More information will come as it is made available.