ROCK HILL, S.C. — Former Wingate University football defensive end John Bowman is one of the newest members of the South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame, league officials announced this week.
“I would like to thank the selection committee for this huge and highly distinguished honor,” Bowman said. “When the news first came, I was shocked and humbled.”
Bowman, a Rockingham native and former Richmond Senior football player, was a Don Hansen’s Football Gazette All-American following the 2003 season. An All-SAC and All-Region selection the same year, he was fourth in the NCAA Division II in sacks (1.2 per game) as a senior. His 2003 statistical ledger included 66 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, a league-best 15 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pair of pass break-ups.
Bowman joined the Wingate Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. His football coaches during his time at Wingate were current head coach Joe Reich and Reich’s predecessor, Bob Brush.
“This is a great honor for John and for us as a program to have one of our guys selected,” Reich said. “It’s awesome to see a guy who played with such great effort get rewarded for his achievements.”
Bowman joined the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes in 2006. During his career, the Alouettes have won the Grey Cup (CFL Super Bowl) in 2009 and 2010. Bowman was named to the CFL All-Star team in 2010 and 2015 and is a six-time CFL East All-Star (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).
An 11-year CFL veteran, Bowman is Montreal’s all-time leader in sacks (112) entering the 2017 campaign. In 2015, he led the CFL in sacks with 19. In 2010, Bowman was first in the CFL in forced fumbles and second in sacks as the Alouettes won their second Grey Cup of his career. He also led the CFL in sacks and forced fumbles in 2009, when Montreal captured the first Grey Cup during his tenure. Bowman signed a contract extension through the 2017 season last August.
The Rockingham native is an active volunteer with Montreal, as he has visited 12 hospitals during his playing career. In addition, he has visited numerous underprivileged communities in the Montreal area. Bowman is also highly involved with the team’s “Together at School Program.”
In a 2015 interview, Bowman shared what he would most want people to remember about him.
“I would want people to know I work hard. I was a backup tight end at Richmond County Senior High School. During my early days at Wingate, I moved from tight end to defensive end,” he said. “I came from a small town, attended a small school, played in the Arena League…finally making my way to the CFL. I have fought for and earned everything I have achieved.”
Bowman will be formally inducted at the SAC Hall of Fame Banquet in Greenville, South Carolina on Thursday, June 1.
“First, I would like to thank my aunt Robin Bowman Scott who raised me to be a great and productive human. I must give much credit to my coaches Joe Reich, Rashaan Jordan, Jim Catanzaro and Mike Gutelius. I am thankful for all the great teammates I took the field with week in and week out,” Bowman said. “I would also like to thank David Sherwood for spearheading the whole SAC Hall of Fame process. Lastly, I want to thank Wingate University and my professors for keeping me on track in the classroom.”