Run Bowen hopes for success in his first season at Poplarville

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 10, 2017

When people start their career, everyone has a ‘dream job’ they want to achieve later on in life and that definitely applies to new Poplarville boys’ basketball Head Coach Run Bowen.

Bowen became the new head coach for the Hornets’ basketball program when he accepted the position in late July.

“I have been trying to get over here since John Miller left (after the 2006-07 season) but the opportunity just wasn’t there,” Bowen said. “When I saw the opening earlier this year, I quickly made the phone call, I interviewed for the job a couple of weeks later and thankfully I received the job offer afterwards.”

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When Bowen’s former team faced Poplarville in the past, he saw great potential in the team and decided he wanted to be part of it one day.

“One of the reasons I wanted to come over here is because the kids here work harder than any team that I have ever coached or been around,” Bowen said. “Playing against John Miller’s teams in the past, you could see the character of the kids on the floor and they’re a good group of kids and I wanted to work with these kids one day.”

Last year, Bowen held the head coaching position at Perry Central High School, where he led the team to a 13-12 record. Previously, he coached in programs around southern Mississippi such as Pearl River Central, Long Beach, Ocean Springs and Vancleave.

“I worked in Long Beach High School for a couple of years and the program was near the bottom and we helped build it up,” Bowen said. “I have been in programs where we won four or five games in a season but I have helped guide the programs in the right direction. Despite all those jobs, I never felt at home.”

Bowen will help players in the middle school team improve during the summer, he’ll receive plenty of gym time and he’ll have an assistant coach, something he hasn’t had in the past.

“I have had a hard time getting those things until I arrived here in Poplarville,” Bowen said. “The administration has been wonderful and they’re always working with me to build the program the right way.”

Being a head coach has its difficulties, just like any other job but when kids put time and effort in the gym to improve on their skills or learn new skills to become a better person on and off the court, it’s a great reward, Bowen said.

“When a player signs a letter of intent to play college ball, that’s like my World Series and Super Bowl,” Bowen said. “I have had kids in the past who started  out not playing well, but worked hard and developed skills to play at the next level. I hope to continue that here in Poplarville.”

Despite only being together for a short amount of time, seniors like Taylor Josey and the rest of the team have seen a positive change under the leadership by Bowen.

“To me, he’s more energetic, he can get us where we want to go and he’s made a big impact on us already,” Josey said. “When we do something wrong, he’s always telling us how we can improve individually and as a team.”

Although the Hornets will not play its first game of the season until the final week of November, Bowen has already seen a significant amount of support from the staff and the community.

“The community is really supportive, being in a small town, the small town vibe, I think it’s a great thing to be a part of it,” Bowen said. “Seeing what Jay Beech has done with the football program, it’s phenomenal and I think we can do the same in basketball.”