Princeton Senior High School Hall of Famer Jack Puckett can still remember Garland "Bo" Bowman's first coaching assignment like it happened yesterday.
Puckettt, who would later go on to play college basketball at Wake Forest University, said that he was on the first team Bowman ever coached. Puckett pointed his hands down and nodded his head explaining that Bowman's first coaching assignment had come at the old Glenwood School.
"He was really determined to do a good job in his first year," Puckett said. "He pushed us pretty hard to make sure that we would be successful."
Bowman's disciplined but fair approach paid off for that generation of Wildcat players. Puckett and the rest of his teammates went 17-1 that season and captured a county championship.
Puckett's relationship with Bowman continued after he graduated from Glenwood and made his way through a hall of fame career for Princeton coach Ralph Ball. It was Bowman, according to Puckett's recollection, that submitted his name for nomination to the Princeton Senior High School Hall of Fame.
Just make sure that Puckett's mother could remember the occasion, Bowman, a longtime photographer for the Princeton Times, brought a collection of pictures to her.
Puckett said, "He always took care of his Glenwood boys."
There were hundreds of stories just like Puckett's being shared at Glenwood School Wednesday evening as former players, friends, community members, teachers gathered to watch the school rename its gym after Bowman.
"It's very humbling," Bowman's daughter Sandy Gallimore said as friends and family members approached to share their memories. "He was a very quiet and reserved man. Maybe not on the court, but he was always very reserved anywhere else. We always saw him as a coach first."
Gallimore added that the opponent for the night's middle school games, Montcalm, was very appropriate because it was against the Generals that Bowman had coached the first game in the gymnasium.
Gallimore and her sisters, Ami Kirk and Kim Bowman, couldn't believe the community members that had come out for the occasion.
"We're very touched to see all of the support," Kirk said. "We appreciate it so much."
Glenwood Principal Steve Comer didn't know Bowman personally outside of athletics but had come to believe that he truly had an impact on the Glenwood community with his passion for sports. Mercer County Schools Superintendent Deborah Akers added that Bowman was a big believer in what athletics could do for children.
Bowman's brother Lance said Bo's passion for sports was very obvious as the two grew up together. Lance was more into mathematics but Bo was all-sports all the time.
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