Cowboy Wrestling Honors Coaching Legend Joe Dowler with Surprise Ceremony

July 10, 2015


The University of Wyoming wrestling program added one more piece to its new facility on Friday with the unveiling of the Joe Dowler Coaches' Locker Room. The former UW head coach and administrator was honored in a surprise ceremony with his being attached to the state-of-the-art room for the Wyoming coaching staff.

"It is so heartwarming to see Joe Dowler and his family so passionate about the University of Wyoming and our wrestling program," UW Director of Athletics Tom Burman said. "I tip my hat to everyone involved in this project because it is a great way to recognize the wonderful commitment that Joe has had to the wrestling program here at UW."

In his 14 seasons as head wrestling coach at Wyoming, Dowler led the Pokes to a 104-64-1 dual record while capturing four-straight Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (MIWA) team Championships, and three Western Athletic Conference team titles. Dowler coached 35 individual conference champions and two All-Americans with the Cowboys.

He was a three-time Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year (1983, 85 and 86). In 1986 he was one of 12 nominees for the NCAA Wrestling Coach of the Year. Dowler was also voted the President of the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

Dowler was a staple in the amateur wrestling scene in the state of Wyoming. He introduced the High School Wrestling Cultural Exchange Program and was involved in initiating in the Junior World Wrestling program. Dowler also coached the first United States Junior World Championship team that toured Central Europe in 1967.

Dowler was an Associate Athletics Director at UW from 1987-2001. Following his retirement, he initiated and coordinated the "W" Club for all UW athletic letterwinners. He was inducted in the UW Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.

"I think anytime there is a naming opportunity with this new facility there is something very special attached to it and nobody has been closer to this program than coach Dowler," UW head coach Mark Branch said. "Since he stepped away from coaching he has been very involved in the program and we always look forward to having him in the room every day. It is safe to say he has been the caretaker of this program for over 40 years and honoring him just feels right."

The Joe Dowler Coaches' Locker Room was made possible by an anonymous donor and gifts from the Dowler family.