DURHAM, N.H.-- Former legendary University of New Hampshire head coach Bill Bowes, the winningest coach in Wildcat football history, was named the recipient of the George C. Carens Award for his outstanding contributions to New England Football.
Bowes will receive the award at the New England Football Writers Annual Captains and Awards Banquet on Dec. 5 at Lantana Restaurant in Randolph, Mass.
He joins UNH's own Joe Yukica as one of only two Granite-Staters to earn the prestigious honor.
A 27-year veteran at the helm of the UNH football program, Bowes began his head coaching career at UNH in 1973 and eventually retired in the spring of 1999.
During the Bill Bowes era, his teams recorded an impressive 175-106-5 record and he recruited many of the top players in the Yankee Conference and the Atlantic 10, not to mention several players who went on to be starters in the NFL, such as Jerry Azumah (Chicago Bears), Dwayne Sabb (New England Patriots), Dan Kreider (Pittsburgh Steelers), and Jason Ball (San Diego Chargers). A grand total of 22 of his players went on to sign NFL contracts.
His list of accomplishments are extensive, but nothing stands out more than the fact that his teams won conference titles in 1975, 1976, 1991 and 1994. All four squads also went on to play in the NCAA Div. II or Div. I-AA playoffs. Bowes was honored twice as the Yankee Conference Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1994.
Milestones during his tenure included: his 100th coaching victory vs. Maine (44-23) in 1988 and his 150th win vs. Richmond (42-14) in 1994. Perhaps one of the most meaningful highlights of his career came in 1998 when Azumah broke several NCAA rushing and scoring records and became the first-ever Walter Payton Award winner for UNH. He also coached 12 All-America selections, six first-team All-Atlantic 10 selections and 69 Yankee Conference first-team choices. Many of his Wildcat seniors made appearances in the Hula Bowl, The Blue-Gray All-Star Game and the East-West Shrine Game. He has also been responsible for a huge list of former assistant coaches and players who have obtained prominent positions in the college football ranks.
In 1999, present UNH head coach Sean McDonnell initiated a new team award and dubbed it "The Bill Bowes Coaches Award" in recognition of all Bowes has done for the football program and for the University of New Hampshire.