Killingly’s Rich Bowen was one of nine inductees into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) Hall of Fame earlier this month.
Bowen is the ninth wrestling coach to be inducted into the CHSCA’s Hall of Fame and the first since the late Jim Day of Berlin was recognized in 2018.
Bowen has been coaching at Killingly for 35 years and has led his teams to more dual meet victories than any other Connecticut coach in state history. Bowen, who took over as head coach at Killingly in December 1986, has a career record of 625-180-2.
He is one of two coaches in state history to earn more than 600 dual meet victories.
“I didn’t think about (the win record) that much. I just think about each season,” he said in 20 20 when he became the coach with the most career wins. “After you look back, you say, ‘Wow. We had some good teams here.’ And we’re still doing it.”
Bowen will be behind the bench this winter for Killingly. The 2021 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under Bowen, Killingly has won five state championships, finished second five times and earned 13 top three finishes.
Killingly won the Class M championship in 2019 and 2003 along with three Class S titles in 2020, 2008 and 2009. His squads finished second in Class M four times (1996, 2002, 2004, 2018) and once in Class S (2016). Killingly finished in a three-way tie for second place at the 2018 State Open – their best finish at that tournament.
Bowen and Derby’s Buster Jadach are the only state coaches will more than 600 career wins. Only four coaches have won more than 500 matches, including Day and current Windham High coach Patrick Risley.
Under Bowen, Killingly has won nine Eastern Connecticut Conference (ECC) championships. He is a seven-time CHSCA wrestling coach of the year and is a two-time National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) Region I coach of the year.
Bowen and the nine other inductees were recognized at halftime of a UConn football game at Rentschler Field in October and at a banquet earlier this month at the Aqua Turf in Southington.
The Hall of Fame, which began in 1977, is located under the concourse at Rentschler Field. This was the 44th induction dinner.
Bowen was recognized along with Mark Dunn, a coach (cross country, girls gymnastics) and athletic director, at Stafford High; Marty Gomez, a coach (baseball) and athletic director at Lyman Memorial, Susan Hopkins-Terrell, a gymnastics coach at NFA, August Link, a coach (boys golf, boys soccer) and athletic director at Tolland, Francis Pfeiffer, a boys swimming coach at Bridgeport Central and girls swimming coach at Lauralton Hall, Richard Rosek, a track and field coach at Middletown High and Woodrow Wilson High in Middletown, Mike Walsh, the long-time basketball coach at Trinity Catholic in Stamford and Joe D’Ambrosio, the play-by-play voice of UConn football and basketball for 26 years.
Wrestling coaches in CHSCA Hall of Fame
1982: Bob McKee, Conard
1984: Frank Robinson, Jr., Hall High
2002: Robert Serrano, Brookfield and New Fairfield
2003: Dennis Siegmann, Bristol Central
2014: Brian Crudden, Windham High
2015: George Beaudry, Conard
2016: Ricky Shook, Danbury
2018: Jim Day, Berlin
2021: Rich Bowen, Killingly