A beloved football coach at West Washington High School in Campbellsburg, Indiana, died after suffering a stroke on the sideline during a playoff game on Friday (November 22). Phillip Bowsman, 43, started out as a gym teacher 19 years ago and became the school's head football coach in 2003.
School officials initially believed that Bowsman would make a full recovery, but he took a turn for the worse over the weekend. He underwent emergency surgery to relieve swelling in his skull, but the operation was unsuccessful, and doctors decided to remove him from life support.
Bowsman was loved by parents and students and always went out of his way to help people.
Even after students graduated, Bowsman would keep in touch with them. The parent of a former student said that Bowsman inspired his son to become a coach.
"He coaches because of Phillip. Him and Phillip are still close, and they talk all the time. He was just a really good guy," Bobby Cleek told the news station.
Officials had to take down a memorial on the football field due to inclement weather, but plan to have it back up on Friday. They said it would be protected by a large tent that can hold up to 200 people.
During Bowsman's tenure as coach, West Washington won three sectional titles and made an appearance in the regional title game. He also served as an assistant coach on the girl's varsity basketball team when they won a sectional title in 2019.
The team lost the final game he coached to Indianapolis Lutheran by a score of 49-0.