If you ever doubted Fran McCaffery's commitment to taking Iowa basketball back to its glory days, wonder no longer: the Franimal Collective has its newest member at video coordinator--one Ryan Bowen:
Bowen retired this year from professional basketball after 10 seasons in the NBA. He now will extend his basketball knowledge to his alma mater, the University of Iowa. Bowen, 34, has joined the Iowa men’s basketball staff as a video coordinator and administrative assistant. It’s a role that he wanted and one he’s happy to have.
"I feel very fortunate to get this job," Bowen said Wednesday.
Bowen is getting acclimated to Iowa’s video editing system, but he’s confident he can put together a good video scouting report with his NBA experience. His other duties include assisting new Coach Fran McCaffery and Jerry Strom, the program’s director of basketball operations.
The Hawk Eye has some more choice details:
Bowen met McCaffery when the new coach was introduced at a press conference in late March. He interviewed with McCaffery two weeks ago.
"Everybody I talked to said he would be a great guy to begin your coaching career working for," Bowen said. "He’s very direct, straight-forward with what he says. I’m looking forward to being a part of his staff."
"I’m very excited to have Ryan Bowen be part of our staff," McCaffery said in a statement released by the university. "I remember watching Ryan play in high school, and followed his career at Iowa and the NBA. There isn’t a harder working basketball player that understands the game than Ryan Bowen. I talked to (former Houston Rockets coach) Jeff Van Gundy, (New Orleans Hornets general manager) Jeff Bower and (former NBA coach) John MacLeod and each one raved about his character, work ethic and knowledge of the game. He’s going to make a great impact here at Iowa, just like he did when he was a player."
Something seems a little odd about designating Bowen as an "administrative assistant"; we're sure that's because there's only so many designated spots to be filled in the office, and that Bowen doesn't really have to do administrative duties like making copies and answering a 5-line phone system or anything like that. That would be stupid.
And yet, when Administrative Professionals' Day rolls around next year, McCaffery and his staff's pretty much on the hook for getting Bowen some flowers or something, right? Little nice bouquet? Best you can get from Boesen's for under $30? Hmmm?
That aside, though, putting Ryan Bowen in charge of video duty is a stroke of genius; Bowen probably broke Hakeem Olajuwon's franchise record for most time spent in the Houston Rockets' film room, and he may be the least athletic 10-year NBA veteran since the era of George Mikan dominating the league while wearing Buddy Holly thick-rims. Not that Mikan was unathletic, but... pretty much everyone else was.
Imparting that type of focus and work ethic onto the rest of the program in perpetuity is never going to happen, of course, and it would be ridiculous to think that putting Bowen on the staff will turn every 6'8" white Hawkeye into a 10-year NBA veteran by way of osmosis or whatever. There will still be guys who suck and who slack off. Bowen's going to be a coach, after all, not a peer, so the mere existence of his hard-working-ness won't be as automatically efficacious as if he were on the playing roster at the same time.
But considering Bowen's approach to the game and his newfound access to the players, we should also never find ourselves wondering if Andrew Brommer even knows the rules of basketball, as we did just late last season when he set the movingest moving screen in history for no reason. Andrew Brommer may never be good at basketball. With Ryan Bowen on the staff, though, he certainly can't blame anybody but himself if he's not successful.
At any rate, if he were looking to reconnect Iowa basketball with a poster child* for what the program has historically meant, McCaffery hit a grand slam. Rumors had spread about Jeff Horner and B.J. Armstrong for various spots within the organization--and with one remaining assistant spot open, either might still join the program anyway--but with zero disrespect to Horner and Armstrong... they're not Ryan Bowen. And if you want to point at Bowen as the epitome of lowered expectations in exchange for maximized effort, well, that formula's working out pretty damn well over at Kinnick, isn't it?
Also, not to unnecessarily smear the last two coaches, but... you couldn't imagine either of them making this hire, could you?
*why are there no "poster men"? Nobody makes posters of children except people working for Disney and other institutions of overt child exploitation.