Gowan named head coach of Thomas University cross country, track and field

Scott Gowan has been head coach for the men’s and women’s cross country/track and field teams at Thomas University, announced Thomas’ Athletic Director Rick Pearce.

Gowan served as the assistant coach for the Night Hawks since August and led five athletes to All-Sun Conference honors during the indoor and outdoor season in shot put, hammer, high jump, and the 5,000- and 10,000-meters. 

 “I am very excited to lead the Thomas University Night Hawks’ men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams,” said Gowan.”I would like to thank President Sheppard and Athletic Director Rick Pearce for this opportunity. The cross country and track and field athletes have done an amazing job in their short three-year history and I’m looking forward to building on this.”

The men recorded both their highest finish, at fourth, and most points ever, 68, at the Outdoor Sun Conference Championships, while the women’s team score of 30 points was also the highest in Thomas history.

Twenty school records set during the outdoor season include women’s shot put, hammer, javelin, 100-meter high hurdles,400-meter hurdles, 4×100 and 4×800 relays, and 10,000-meters; and men’s shot put, hammer, long jump, high jump, triple jump, pole vault, 100-meters, 200-meters, 800-meters, 110-meter high hurdles, and 4×100, and 4×400 relays.

Gowan joined the Night Hawks after a historic run, spending the last 22 years of his career in Tallahassee, and the first 13 years at Port St. Joe High School.

Gowan was head coach for Port St. Joe’s varsity boys track and field team for 13 years, 10 years as head boys cross country coach, nine years as middle school boys basketball coach and four years as assistant varsity football coach. 

During his time at Port St. Joe High School, Gowan led the Tiger Shark boy’s track and field team to six straight state titles, between 1994 and 1999, and two regional titles and eight district titles. The boys’ cross country team also won a state title in 1997. Gowan was also part of Port St. Joe’s state runner-up title in football in 1989.

 “I am ready to get out on the recruiting trail and bring in quality student-athletes that will represent Thomas University at the highest level both academically and athletically,” said Gowan. “I am looking forward to being a part of this fine academic institution and program and doing my part to help bring championships back to Thomas University and the city of Thomasville.”

Pearce said the school is “extremely excited to name Gowan as the second head coach for Thomas’ cross country and track and field. Scott resume speaks for itself, his impressive achievements with numerous state championships in the high school level and the level of experience he has in several events. His passion for the great sport will be a great addition to our program and Thomas overall. 

“The amount of contacts he has throughout the Southern states will help us to continue to build this program including recruiting,” said Pearce.

Current Port St. Joe Track Coach Keion McNair “is one of my former athletes who I speak with weekly,” said Gowan. “I am recruiting several of the Tiger Shark athletes and hope to sign them in the next couple of weeks. Port St. Joe was very good to me and I still have many former athletes and friends that live there and they are a huge part of my success as a coach.”

Gowan moved to Tallahassee from Port St. Joe in 1999 after being named the head coach for boys and girls cross country and track and field when Chiles High School opened its doors the first year.

The Telogia native served as head coach at Chiles for 17 years, where he built the Timberwolves’ programs from the ground up, notching 11 state titles, in boys cross country in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2014; in girls cross country in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2015; and boys track and field in 2003, 2014 and 2015,, as well as 19 regional and 44 district titles. 

Gowan’s teams at both Port St. Joe and Chiles High School won a combined 102 FHSAA team titles, which includes 18 state titles, 10 state runner-up titles, 21 regional titles and 53 district titles. 

Five of his cross country teams at Chiles High School were nationally ranked and more than 50 of his athletes were individual state champions. His athletes won state individual titles in cross country as well as the shot put, discus, long jump, high jump, triple jump, and pole vault in the field events, and 110 hurdles, 400 meters, 800 meters, 1600 meters, 3200 meters, 4×400 relay and 4×800 relay in the track events. 

Gowan had eight athletes selected as the Florida Dairy Farmers State Athlete of the Year, while five athletes were selected as USA High School All-Americans. Two of his athletes set FHSAA state track and field records, with over 100 of his athletes furthering their athletic career on a collegiate scholarship.

Gowan is one of the few Florida high school cross country and track and field coaches who have won FHSAA state team titles in two sports at two different schools. 

Gowan has been recognized for his 35 years of coaching and was inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2021; the Florida Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2016; and the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007.He’s been selected as Coach of the Year 45 times. which includes the National Federation High School Boys National Track and Field Coach of the Year in 1995,1998, and 2012.

Gowan has been selected as Florida’s Dairy Farmers Coach of the Year, Tallahassee Democrat Coach of the Year, and the Florida Track and Field Coach of the Year. Gowan also served as head coach for the North Boys Florida Athletic Coaches Association Cross Country Senior All-Star Meet in 2003. 

For up-to-date information on this game and other Thomas University athletics, visit www.TUNightHawks.com. Stay up-to-date with news, scores, photos, game summaries, play-by-play, and feature stories of your TU men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams by following them via Twitter at @TUXCTF1.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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