ETBU women hire Memphis assistant

More news about: East Texas Baptist

Jay Bowen, an assistant coach at Memphis the last two seasons, has been named the new head women's basketball coach at East Texas Baptist.

Bowen brings more than 23 seasons of coaching experience to ETBU, which is coming off a 22-5 season in 2006-07 that saw the Lady Tigers win their first outright American Southwest Conference East Division championship since 1999-2000.

"We are pleased to welcome coach Bowen to our staff at ETBU," said ETBU athletic director Kent Reeves. "He is a well-respected coach who has had a lot of success at both the college and high school levels. We feel like his experience and knowledge of the game will help continue the rise of our Lady Tiger basketball program."

While at Memphis, Bowen was responsible for recruiting Texas, which made him an attractive candidate according to Reeves.

"Jay's experience and ties to the region are just some of the things we are excited about," Reeves said. "We wanted a coach with Texas ties."

Bowen replaces former ETBU coach Lisa Curliss-Taylor, who resigned earlier this month to take the head coaching position at NCAA Division II Missouri-St. Louis after four seasons with the Lady Tigers.

"My family and I are thrilled to have this opportunity to join the ETBU family," said Bowen. "We are looking forward to becoming a part of the Christian and family atmosphere at ETBU."

A native of Memphis, Bowen has had collegiate coaching stops at Memphis, the Mississippi, Austin Peay, Georgia State, Armstrong State and Christian Brothers.

As head coach of the East Central Community College men's program from 1989-91, Bowen's recruiting efforts paid off with the program's highest win total (21) in a single season in 30 years in 1990-91. After leaving ECCC following that season to take an assistant coaching position at Georgia State, Bowen would return to ECCC as head coach in 1998 to guide a program that hadn't had a winning season in five years to a winning season the following year.

Bowen has also worked as a recruiting coordinator at Austin Peay, where his 2001-02 recruiting class went on to generate back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference championships which included an undefeated record in the OVC in 2003-04.

He became the director of basketball operations at Ole Miss in 2002, and became an assistant coach for the Rebels in 2004.

Bowen later moved on to become head coach at Lafayette High School in Oxford, Miss., where his 2004-05 squad won more games than the seven previous years. During that season, Lafayette also knocked off the sixth-ranked team in the state despite starting just one junior, four sophomores and using an eighth-grader as a sixth man.

At ETBU, Bowen takes over a program that has won 40 games over the last two seasons and didn't have a single senior on the roster during last season's run, which saw them win 14 straight games before suffering a 75-73 loss to McMurry in the conference tournament semifinals.

"We want to make the transition as easy as possible for our players," Bowen said. "This program has been built on a solid foundation and we are going to look to continue building on the success and tradition already established."

A graduate of Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Bowen earned his master's degree in education from then-Memphis State in 1988. He and his wife, Cristy, have two daughters, Ashleigh and Katelyn.