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Bowman Takes Over Cape Coral Football

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Cape Coral H.S.
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Barry Bowman, new head coach at Cape Coral H.S.

Cape Coral High School’s football team has produced two NFL players in recent years—Jaylen Watkins and Nate Allen—and several standout college players. Now this impressive program has a new head coach. WGCU’s Cary Barbor talked to him about his plans for the team.

Coach Barry Bowman took over as head football coach at Cape Coral High School a few days after Thanksgiving. We asked him what he thinks makes a football program great.

“First of all I think it starts with the culture and the environment that you have inside your program,” he said. “And that’s done with the head coach and the coaching staff itself... the environment you create not only on the field but in the locker room, the expectations that you lay out as far as academically, their behavior in the hallway, classroom, cafeteria, community.”

Surprisingly, he says, his job is less about working out schematics and plays on the locker room chalkboard.

“The xs and os, there’s no secrets. Everybody doing the same kind of thing. Those will typically take care of themselves. And a lot of times the score board will take care of itself if you have all of those other things the way they need to be. And then the relationships with the kids. That’s how you win, to me,” said Bowman.

Coach Bowman told me about his early influences, the biggest of which was probably his own father, who was his coach.

“I have four men in my life, all coaches, that I would consider to be my little Mt. Rushmore of coaches. It first and foremost starts with my dad and probably the biggest thing I got from him was discipline,” he said.

Cape Coral High is known, like some other Southwest Florida schools, for producing great college and even some NFL players. We asked Coach Bowman why he thought that is.

“I think first and foremost it starts with parents,” he said. “Secondly, it’s a great place to live. Thirdly, it’s a great school system and there’s been some great coaches come through here. Hopefully we can continue to have great players come out of here. “

To do that, he says, he’s going to begin right away.

“Where I’m starting is installing the expectations that I have of the kids and that’s everything from academics to behavior to expectations in the weight room, to how we’re going to practice, how we’re going to play. Those are the things that I’m doing right now. So as far as having a vision, do I see all of those things happening? Yes, I do.”

This past season was very much affected by the coronavirus pandemic, of course, down to the fact that there was no spring football last year. Still, things are looking up, as Coach Bowman says spring football is scheduled for spring 2021. That will help players get better prepared for next fall.

“Is there a magic formula? No. To me it gets back to hard work,” he said.

Coach Bowman and his team are already at it, training for next season.

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