By DAVE SCHABELL
He will be sorely missed!
Those are the words being echoed around the Brossart community as word of the reality of Bob Rowe’s assuming the duties of principal of Covington Catholic High School began sweeping our community throughout the day on Wednesday.
While I fished for thirty-two days in Canada in quest of trophies, I think the big one might have gotten away this week right here closer to home.
Many among our Brossart family certainly feel a void tonight. The man has touched many lives since 1996 when he assumed our Junior Varsity basketball position while still teaching at St. Anthony Grade School in Taylor Mill, and he has left an indelible mark on each.
Bobby’s bark is a familiar echo, firmly etched in each of our memories, and it will be a while until it fades away. He is being described as a fair, no-nonsense, get-the-job done administrator and coach who turned boys into men and prepared them well for the next level. He was a relentless scout who was the force behind our teams being so well prepared prior to going into battle against a key, target team, and an intense competitor whose teams always, invariably overachieved on the field of play, while taking on all comers, without being intimidated by a school’s size, enrollment, or tradition.
He is being described tonight as a man of vision and boundless energy.
When Bob wanted a sod infield for his ballfield including a sprinkler system, we got one; when he wanted dugouts, they sprung up from the dust; and when he first walked into Clark County’s indoor practice facility,
there was no doubt in my mind that one would soon manifest itself at our facility, and it did.
No job was too great, and no obstacle too large. Bob Rowe has a legion of very talented friends, and he was never bashful about calling upon their services.
On the academic side, he is somewhat single-handedly responsible for the technological innovations that we presently enjoy at Brossart High School, and was a pioneer in developing our Academic Enhancement Program. The much acclaimed Open House last fall was a tribute to the efforts of one Bob Rowe and his dedicated committee who had state of the art technology installed and operational prior to that event. The current school website is up and interactive due to Bob’s pulling a few strings and utilizing the services of some family members for the cost of a gift card from a local eatery.
It was also Bob Rowe who campaigned for and executed our most recent Careers Day, where professionals from all over Greater Cincinnati came to our school to describe their profession and display their wares for our student body.
We all assumed that Bob was the heir apparent to the principal’s job here at Brossart and that we would continue to thrive under his leadership, but a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Larry Bowman, the Diocesan Superintendent of Education announced his retirement; Mike Clines the former principal of Covington Catholic High School was appointed assistant superintendent and is being groomed for that job; and Bob Rowe has been named the principal of Covington Catholic to succeed Clines.
The questions being bantered among our ranks tonight is how did this happen, and why did Bob Rowe, a Brossart grad who bleeds green and appeared destined to be our next principal end up at Covington Catholic? Suffice it to say that when opportunity knocks, sometimes you have to do what is best for yourself and your family. Though he tried, Bob could receive no assurances that he would become the next principal at Brossart, and at 37 years of age has decided to put those degrees, earned through years of attending school during summers and at night, to work, and grab the bird in the hand. When the Bishop asks you to assume command of his premiere diocesan high school, it is very difficult to say no, or hold out for a position that may or may not materialize.
Bob Rowe leaves Brossart as the winningest baseball coach in our school’s history with a 206-160 mark, two regional runner-up finishes and every 10th Region All “A” Championship ever contested (5). He has coached the Junior and Senior Kentucky All-Stars, and was named the Kentucky Association of Baseball Coaches 10th Region Coach of the Year in both 2007 and 2008.
His fondest basketball memories are of winning the 2000 10th Region Championship and beating Graves County in Rupp Arena, as well as winning the 2007 All “A” State Championship. He is surely our schools winningest Junior Varsity basketball coach having served in that capacity for twelve seasons. His 2005 JV Mustangs recorded an undefeated 23-0 season and his composite record from 2003 though 2005 was a combined 63-6. His JV Mustangs won an unprecedented four consecutive district championships from 2003 through 2006 and three straight MCIT Championships during that same period. Curtis Bezold has been named to serve as our Junior Varsity basketball coach succeeding Coach Rowe. He has big shoes to fill.
Perhaps the greatest challenge that Bob Rowe will face in his new role at Covington Catholic will be in abstaining from the camaraderie and intensity of athletic competition. It’s been very much in his blood all of his life and it won’t go quietly into the night.
Above and beyond all of his accomplishments and accolades, Bob Rowe is our friend, much more like a brother than an associate, and I think I speak for all of us in saying that we have lost a key member of our family, one who has made a major impact on our lives and from who we have all learned much.
We wish Bobby the very best in his new career at Covington Catholic High School, where we know that he will be successful, but hope that someday, somehow, we will again see him back here on the Avenue of Champions.
You will be indeed, sorely missed!
Dave Schabell, June 18,2008