Football coach suffers stroke, dies during playoff game


CAMPBELLSBURG, Ind. — The hallway of St. Vincent’s Hospital was lined with mourners to honor Phillip Bowsman as he made one last act of giving, WISH reports.

Bowsman, a high school football coach in Indiana, suffered a stroke during a playoff game and died Monday.

Former students and athletes from bowsman’s 20 years in education as well as friends and family members came to Indianapolis for a final tribute, and to honor the impact he had on their community.

“When people remember Coach Bowsman, they are going to remember the fact that he was always so positive and he always made you feel like you were the most important thing at the moment,” said Keith nance, Bowsman’s friend and colleague.

To the people who loved Bowsman, he was more than just a football coach.

“You know, one of the kids said it best that a lot of people on the team call him Dad number 1 and to some of them he is Dad number 2,” Nance said.” And there is going to be a big void and it is going to take a lot of people to step up and fill it.”

Nance shared a prayer with the crowd to honor the life of Bowsman.

“Dear heavenly father, we thank you for the life of Phillip Bowsman. A tremendous friend, an amazing mentor to young men and women and a lover of God,” Nance said.

His death has left the West Washington community heartbroken, but they rejoice knowing Bowsman is still helping others.

“It is pretty fitting. Again like I said, he is an extremely generous person, sacrificing himself all the time,” Nance said. “For this to be his final act, it doesn’t surprise me one bit the choice that he made.”

“One donor can save up to 8 lives and so honoring them this way just really emphasizes that fact that this person is a hero and their decision to say yes to donation is a heroic act,” said Mark Back with Indiana Donor Network.

Before Bowsman’s last surgery, his family shared that he asked the surgical staff to pray with him so it seemed only fitting that during his final walk that is just what they did.

“We can rejoice in the fact that we know exactly where Phillip is going and that in true Phillip Bowsman fashion his last act was of giving and generosity so that people can continue to have their loved ones,” Nance said.

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