I am Rosemary Brown Bowser and I played for the Flying Queens in 1974-75 and 1975-76.
I grew up in the small east Texas town of Talco. I was one of four girls in my family of six. My father and mother were great parents. We did not have much, but we had each other. My parents were and still are big Christians, and due to religious beliefs, my mother was not going to allow us to participate in sports. She had been taught that it was against her religion for girls to play sports, wear shorts or pants, and the list goes on and on. My daddy was an athlete; he loved sports, especially baseball, and insisted that my mother allow us to play. He played baseball growing up but was unable to pursue a career because he had to work. He refused to let the opportunity pass us by and he did not miss any games. When I was 32 years old, I told my daddy what it meant to me to have him at all my games. It seems like a small thing, but for me, it was huge. As a mother of an athlete, I made sure I was at all her games because I remember how important it was for me to see my dad in the stands no matter where the games were. He was ALWAYS there. Although my mother did not attend any of our athletic events, she was ALWAYS very supportive. Both of my parents are still alive and doing well.
I attended Rivercrest High School and graduated in 1972. I played basketball and ran track for the late great Coach Larry Tucker. Coach Larry Tucker gave me my start. The black schools did not have sports, so I did not have the opportunity to play basketball until I was in the 7th grade and schools were integrated. Prior to integration, we did play softball, but basketball was a completely new thing for me. I played a little bit of basketball in junior high school, but only played because schools were recently integrated and black students were recruited to play. My daddy said I was not very good. Actually, he said I was terrible, but I believe that Coach Tucker saw something in me and began working to make me a player. He taught me everything that I know about the game. He demanded excellence and for that I am grateful. I did not appreciate his toughness initially, but realized later that it was his consistent demand for perfection that helped me to become a great athlete.
After graduating from high school, I was recruited to play for Coach Ron Butler at Ranger Junior College. Again, I was blessed to play with great players and for a great coach. As a sophomore, we actually beat the Flying Queens at the buzzer. Guess who took the last shot! Yep, I did, and we won the game by one point. That is a junior college basketball memory that I will never forget. No one was supposed to beat the Queens!
After graduating from Ranger Jr. College, I began my journey as a Flying Queen. I attended Wayland in 1975 and 1976. My basketball career as a Flying Queen was phenomenal. I was fortunate enough to play with more great players and play for a great coach, Dean Weese. We were the team of that era, the team to beat. Coach Weese was a lot like Coach Tucker. He demanded perfection, commitment, and hard work. He fine-tuned the things that I already knew and helped me to become an even better player. I can remember him saying to me and I quote, “Brown, if you can’t pass, you can’t play,” so needless to say I worked on passing because I surely wanted to play. He helped me to become a student of the game. It was important to know why you did a particular thing. He emphasized the importance of doing the small things well.
Wayland was good for me and I learned a lot from Coach Weese. He put the icing on the cake, so to speak, for my basketball career. He continued to teach about what it meant to work hard, be committed, be successful, and how those parts made a whole. That wealth of information can only be obtained by experiencing it. It was at Wayland that I recognized the value of community. Pearl and I had people from the black community come support us like we were members of their families. They took care of us because they were so proud of us. That, I will never forget.
Being at Wayland also helped me to see/feel what it felt like to be the “elite.” Some of my most memorable moments are playing with some of the greatest basketball players of all time, the team scoring 50 points in the first half of a game, playing with Pearl Worrell who later became my best friend, and flying to every game. That was unheard of during that time. As a result of having a successful athletic career, I had the opportunity to make the United States Team that toured Russia and to be selected as a member of the US Olympic team. I ended up getting hurt and was unable to play. Later the US Olympic committee called me to come back, but I did not go because I had made a commitment to be the girl’s head coach at Amarillo High and had promised to go to summer school. I regret that I did not go back and play.
College opens the door for building lifelong relationships. Pearl Worrell Trimble and I were best friends until she passed away in 2005. I met Pearl before I transferred to Wayland. We worked basketball camps together and played against each other when I was in junior college. Our plan was to be roommates when I transferred to Wayland. Somehow that did not work out, but it was probably for our good. Pearl was a great basketball player, a four-time college All-American, Kodak All-American. She played different positions, but her strength was at the post. She could post up against the best of the best and get the job done.
After graduating from Wayland in 1976, we were both hired to coach basketball for in the Amarillo Independent School District. We began coaching together at rival schools and were roommates – hilarious!!!! She was assigned to Palo Duro, and I was assigned to Amarillo High. During our first year of coaching, my Amarillo team won the game against Pearl’s Palo Duro team by one point. When the game was over, we met each other at home and laughed about what happened during the game. Our friendship was valuable. I passed out at one of the games when our teams played against each other. She was the first person to come see about me. When I woke up, she was the first person that I saw. The game was no longer important. My well-being was a priority. She never let me live that down!!! She was a great coach and one of the smartest people that I knew. I remember studying two weeks prior to test time, and she would read the chapter the night before and still make a better grade than me. Pearl is the reason why I have a master’s degree in administration. She would not enroll in summer school until I enrolled with her. She wore me out about it, so I finally said ok. I owe her big time! Friends like Pearl come few and far between, and I miss her dearly.
Basketball was a teaching tool for me. I have used much of what I learned as an athlete in my life today. I know how to fight to win. I know that quitting is not an option. I know that success does not come easy, but it comes from hard work. Life presents many challenges, but when you have been taught the things I was taught and travelled the roads I have traveled, you know how to survive.
At age 22, I was named the first girls’ basketball coach at Amarillo High School. I started the girls’ basketball program at Amarillo High. What an eye opener!!! My 15 years at Amarillo High taught me that love has no color. I LOVED MY KIDS, AND THEY LOVED ME. I worked at a predominately white school, and I was the minority, but I loved my girls. They were absolutely awesome. I really could not have coached a better group of girls. While we may not have been as athletic as some teams, no one worked harder and was more committed. If I had to do it all over again, they are still the girls I would want to coach. Coaching was a hard job yet very rewarding. I was successful at Amarillo High. We were able to win district and go to the playoffs many times during my career and I took a team to the state tournament in Austin in 1982. I also taught English. I was successful at Amarillo High because I was surrounded by great people. The administrative staff and coaches were really good to me.
Sometimes I think that I was too hard, but I coached the way I knew how. I coached the way I was coached and demanded the same expectation-perfection.
After 15 years of coaching at Amarillo High, I became an assistant principal at Palo Duro High School. I got out of coaching because I did not want to coach my daughter. It was important to me that she not be singled out because she was my daughter. I did not want her to deal with the junk that comes with parents coaching their own kids. I went to Palo Duro as an administrator and was able to attend every game and watch her play. It was awesome—simply a perfect setup. I enjoyed being a principal more than I did a coach. Yeah, it was a hard job, but it was different. Becoming a principal opened the door for me to meet so many different kids and teachers and build lifelong relationships. In 2004 I took a position as an assistant athletic director and did that for two years. It was a good job, but I missed the kids, so God blessed me with the opportunity to get my old job back at Palo Duro High School where I finished my career in 2010. After 34 years in education, I retired and moved to Euless, Texas, to help raise my grandbabies. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I actually live right next door! Life is even better because I work part-time for my son-in-law.
Today, I am married to Mark Bowser, a great husband, father, and grandfather. We live in Euless, Texas, and are members of Dayspring Family Church in Irving, Texas. God has richly blessed us. We have a blended family of four girls.
Casey Jackson Boyd (37) is my biological daughter and is married to Marcus Frank Boyd, Sr. who played football and graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. He is the vice president of Pinnacle Consulting Management Group. They have three children: Marcus Jr., Trinity Rose, and Kendyl Reese. They are my pride and joy!!!!!!!
Casey graduated from Palo Duro High School in Amarillo where she received recognition as a great student in her class graduating 17th out of 385 students. She was also an outstanding basketball player. Casey was recruited by Coach Marsha Sharp and played four years as a Lady Raider at Texas Tech. My grand babies are great athletes, and I cannot wait to see them compete. Casey is a CPA, received her master’s in accounting and is the director of finance at Flagship Facilities Services Company in Irving, Texas.
Dannissa Pugh (20) is not my biological daughter but my daughter non-the-less. Dannissa has been in my life since she was 6 weeks old as a result of babysitting and I have had her ever since. She is a student at University of Texas Arlington majoring in Business Management.
Amanda Bowser (32) is my husband’s daughter. She is a teacher in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Ronisha Norwood (30) is my husband’s daughter. She is a nurse practitioner and works in Dallas. She is married to Donic Norwood (business owner) and together they have two daughters: Marleigh and Maliah
Today at age 65, I am a blessed person. God has been good to me. I am grateful that he blessed me with the ability to be a good athlete and touch a lot of people.
To the Wayland Flying Queens of today: athletics, basketball is about winning and losing. Losing is not fun but it serves as a motivator to help us to become winners.
Rosemary Brown Bowser
Wayland Grad 1976
Flying Queens Forever!