Friday will mark a special occasion for Ryan Bowen, when he’s scheduled to close on a new house in Coralville.
He and his wife, Wendy, and their three children are thrilled to be making the Iowa City area their permanent home.
Bowen played basketball for the University of Iowa from 1994-98 and now the former forward from Fort Madison serves as the program’s video coordinator and administrative assistant under Iowa coach Fran McCaffery.
Bowen is optimistic about the future of the Iowa program and he credits McCaffery for re-energizing the fans in a short period of time.
So it wasn’t a case of Bowen looking for another job when he traveled to Denver last week to meet with representatives of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets.
“Obviously, I love Iowa and I love Iowa City,” Bowen said Wednesday afternoon. “But when an NBA team calls you up and says, ‘Hey, come out for a couple of days,’ you say all right, I’ll come out for a couple of days.”
The Denver Nuggets have an opening for an assistant coach, but Bowen declined to comment on the job beyond saying that he was in Denver last week to meet with team officials.
Bowen, 35, played five of his nine NBA seasons with the Denver Nuggets from 1999-04. He appeared in one game with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009 before retiring from the NBA.
He then returned to his alma mater to work under McCaffery, who was hired as the Iowa coach in March 2010.
Iowa finished 11-20 in McCaffery’s first season, but Bowen feels that the program is moving in the right direction under McCaffery.
The fans apparently feel the same way.
“I’ve spoken at quite a few of these I-Clubs around the state and it’s just amazing the positive remarks that we get from everybody,” Bowen said. “It’s tough when you sit back and remind yourself that, hey, we only won one more game than we did the year before.
“But everybody just keeps saying that it’s just such a different feel that we have. That’s what I’ve heard so much, just the feeling of excitement and how much they enjoyed watching this team play this year. And it’s been coach (McCaffery) rallying the fan base.”
Bowen said his main focus besides getting settled into his new house is preparing for his second season with the Iowa staff.
“I’m definitely committed to doing that and I’ve been working hard getting things going,” Bowen said. “We have our summer camp coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m getting geared on that and with the guys coming back for classes. I’m definitely full-board on everything in preparation for the season.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball