Annually, the Kansas State High School Activities Association presents an award known as the Governor’s Award, to an individual recognizing their outstanding contributions in the field of secondary education in the state of Kansas. We are pleased to announce Rick Bowden has been selected posthumously as the recipient of this prestigious honor in 2014.
Rick Bowden served as an Assistant Executive Director at the Kansas State High School Activities Association for eighteen years, from 1993-2011. During his tenure with the KSHSAA he served as the administrator for football, wrestling, baseball, softball, and track & field. He was also responsible for the annual classification of schools and worked with KSHSAA registered officials. Bowden served as the liaison to Kansas Coaches Association, the Officials Policy Review Committee and the Wrestling Weight Management Committee.
While working for the KSHSAA, Bowden served in several leadership positions with the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) as a member of the Football Rules Committee (1994-2011), Football Editorial Committee (2001-2004), Vice Chairman of the Equipment sub-committee (2006-2011), Softball Rules Committee (2001-2005) and Track & Field Rules Committee (2009-20012). In 2009 he received the NFHS Section 5 Citation for Contributions to State High School Activities.
Prior to joining the KSHSAA staff, Bowden served eight years as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives where he was instrumental in writing Kansas school finance law while serving as chair of the House Education Committee. Bowden was a member of the Midwest Higher Education Commission, the Education Commission of the States, and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Education. He was a teacher and coach for nineteen years in the Goddard and Wichita school districts where he was a successful track & field and cross country coach. In addition, Bowden was a highly respected KSHSAA official in football, basketball and wrestling.
A native of St. John, Kansas, Bowden held degrees from both the College of Emporia and Wichita State University. “Rick Bowden dedicated his life to serving the needs of Kansas students and schools. He was tireless in his efforts to provide the best public education system possible for the youth of our state, regardless of their circumstances. He was a friend and advocate to all”, said KSHSAA Executive Director Gary Musselman.
The KSHSAA Governor’s Award Selection Committee is comprised of the presidents of the Kansas National Education Association, Kansas Association of School Boards, United School Administrators, Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals and the Kansas School Superintendents’ Association.