06/23/12 — Marvin Bowman steps down at Eastern Wayne

View Archive

Marvin Bowman steps down at Eastern Wayne

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on June 23, 2012 11:06 PM

One man's decision to step down became another man's opportunity to move up.

Eastern Wayne varsity boys' basketball coach Marvin Bowman recently stepped down after roaming the Warriors' sidelines since 1992.

Junior varsity head coach Glen Darden has been promoted replace Bowman. Eastern Wayne finished 9-16 last season and lost to Rocky Mount in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A state playoffs.

"It's a decision I've been thinking about off and on," Bowman said. "I was actually thinking about it the year before. I've got some other things going on that I'm doing. I've been a coach for almost 30 years and you get kind of worn out.

"I've really enjoyed working with the kids."

Bowman plans to continue teaching physical education at Eastern Wayne and coaching girls' track. He anticipates stopping by basketball practice on occasion, attending as many games as possible and making himself available if needed.

"I'll miss the practices, I think that is something I enjoy the most," Bowman said. "I intend to go to games and if there is anything I can do to help I'll do it. I'll do whatever I can to enhance the program."

Eastern Wayne principal Gene Byrd described Darden as a "logical choice" as the Warriors' next basketball coach. Without a vacant teaching position at the school Byrd was unable to conduct an outside search for a coach.

"Coach Bowman came to me and said he wants to spend more time with his family and he has a son in college," Byrd said. "I was a coach for 20 years so I can understand that. Marvin's a good guy and I understand his point of view."

A retired member of the Air Force, Darden has been Eastern Wayne's JV coach for 10 seasons. The Warriors went 15-5 last season and finished second in the Eastern Carolina Conference behind Southern Wayne.

Darden has been working to develop a weight-lifting program for Eastern Wayne's varsity players and hopes to implement a more up-tempo brand of basketball. He also anticipates moving away from Bowman's patented 2-3 zone defense.

"The biggest challenge is going to be getting the guys on the floor and letting them know I'm a no-nonsense kind of guy," Darden said. "We want to pus h the ball up the floor and be successful. Coach Bowman didn't play a lot of man-to-man and I feel like the way the game is now you have to play a lot of man-to-man.

"We're going to have to get them in shape to play a lot of man-to-man for a lot of minutes."

Darden is retaining assistant coach Steve Brinson from Bowman's staff and bringing junior varsity assistant Jonathan Bellamy up to the varsity level. Former Eastern Wayne girls' assistant coach Chris Roberts has been appointed as the new boys' JV head coach and will also assist Darden with the varsity team.