Edd Bowers '47
Edd Bowers '47, both an alum and an ex-coach, bleeds Scarlet and Black, and will never need a transfusion. Edd also has two classes. From nearby Montezuma, he entered with the class of '43 but graduated in '47 due to intervening WWII service as a mine sweeper officer. As a Pioneer athlete Edd earned eight letters, competing in football, basketball, track, golf, and tennis. Among his coaches were two Hall of Fame honorees. Les Duke '25 and Ben Douglas '31. In his sophomore year Edd played on the conference co-champion basketball team that finished 10-2. He also captained the 1942 team which upset Iowa State, 37-30, in the first game played in Darby Gym. Mt Pleasant, Iowa, was Bowers' address for 13 years after graduation. He was high school coach there for nine years, producing an undefeated football team and consistent contenders. Edd served as athletic director and football coach at Iowa Wesleyan College for four years before being called back to Grinnell. With 19 years of duty beginning in 1960, Edd holds the record for length of coaching service in over a century of Grinnell football. He turned the Pioneer program around in a hurry. After a 4-4 season in 1960, the Pioneers tied for the conference championship the next year with a 6-2 record and won the title outright in 1962 with a 7-0-1 mark. Bowers, whose overall Grinnell record is 71-88-2, declines to single out outstanding players for fear of overlooking someone. "I had a group of good athletes in those early years and that makes a coach look good if you make it fun and have some luck," he said. "Winning those championships was thrilling but actually I had the most fun developing teams with lesser athletes. There was great satisfaction in seeing average players improve blocking, tackling, and running skills." From time to time Edd also coached baseball, wrestling, and tennis. He enjoyed assisting John Pfitsch in basketball and occasionally filled the top job. Bowers' love of golf-as coach, player, and official-borders on passion. He coached a championship team in 1973 and several top-division finishers before his second "retirement" in 1992. An intense player himself, Edd can still shoot in the 70s. He won the state seniors championship in 1983. And what about Bowers' double d first name? It's not a nickname or an abbreviation; it's on Edd's birth certificate. He believes the appellation was invented to honor two uncles, Edward and Edwin.