It’s nonetheless there, rising in flight on Michael Fowler’s increased correct arm.
A tattoo of the Mighty Mouse cartoon character Fowler had utilized when he was 19 years earlier pays homage to one among many 2000 West Aurora graduate’s heroes — former NBA standout Damon Stoudamire.
District 129 officers are hoping it turns into symbolic of Fowler’s return dwelling and the affect the earlier state champion has as coach of this method he carried out for all through the Gordie Kerkman interval.
West Aurora athletic director Jason Buckley confirmed Monday that Fowler had been employed to succeed Brian Johnson, who was let go in early March.
“I used to be a quiet child and likewise a lefty like Stoudamire, who has the Mighty Mouse nickname and tat,” Fowler acknowledged.
Toronto followers booed his selection on draft evening time nonetheless Stoudamire was named the NBA’s rookie of the 12 months. He carried out 17 seasons and was featured with the tattoo in a Nike promotional poster.
As a junior for the Blackhawks, Fowler was a 5-foot-10 degree guard — similar to Stoudamire — when buddies gave him the similar nickname.
“It has caught my entire life with my shut pals,” Fowler acknowledged.
That’s why he acquired the tattoo, which has considerably further muscle behind it recently than when he weighed 155 kilos and averaged 7.7 components and a team-high 4.5 assists for state champion West Aurora (32-1).
The District 129 faculty board made further data Monday evening time, voting 7-0 to easily settle for an invitation from the Upstate Eight to rejoin the conference for a third stint. The Blackhawks will go away the Southwest Prairie Convention after a fifth season in 2024-25.
“We really feel, based mostly on our experiences the previous couple of years, it might be a greater match all the way in which round so far as professionals and cons,” Buckley acknowledged.
The Blackhawks have gone winless in soccer all 4 seasons inside the Southwest Prairie West.
Buckley acknowledged when West Aurora joined the expanded 12-team conference he was knowledgeable the plan was to reevaluate the divisions periodically, nonetheless his request for such a overview didn’t get answered.
Three totally different faculties — Riverside-Brookfield, Elmwood Park and Ridgewood — have moreover been extended invitations to hitch the Upstate Eight Convention, which could attribute two seven-team divisions in some sports activities actions.
Buckley insisted that whereas there’s an underlying notion the conference change is a football-only selection, “this isn’t the case.” He acknowledged there will be further selections with an expanded UEC.
Fowler acknowledged he had no enter on the UEC selection nonetheless welcomes attending to play East Aurora twice a season.
“I feel it’s wanted for the communities on either side of the river,” Fowler acknowledged.
His ties to West Aurora run deep since his dad, Herman, carried out for the Blackhawks beneath Kerkman predecessor John McDougal. Many kinfolk nonetheless dwell on the West Aspect.
Michael Fowler went on to play at school at Lincoln and NCAA Division II Ashland sooner than starting his instructing career in 2008 when Plainfield East opened.
Fowler assisted Plainfield coach Branden Adkins at quite a few ranges, lastly as varsity assistant, after which turned the highest coach in 2017 when Adkins left to show into Neuqua Valley’s athletic director.
Fowler’s teams went 57-69 in 5 seasons. He stepped down following the 2021-22 season. He continued to point out at Plainfield East nonetheless hopes to be inside the establishing at West Aurora subsequent faculty 12 months if a educating place might be finalized.
“It wasn’t my finish recreation or total plan to be the pinnacle coach there ceaselessly,” Fowler acknowledged of Plainfield East. “I had 15 years there, and I wished to spend extra time at dwelling with my household, my ladies.”
Fowler and his partner Victoria have two daughters, Isabel and Zoey, who’re 12 and 9, respectively.
He didn’t plan to give up instructing for good, nonetheless, saying he thought he may finally switch to a unique program as an assistant.
“It needed to be the suitable spot,” Fowler acknowledged. “I used to be OK with not being a head coach.”
That’s, until the West Aurora place opened up.
He utilized after getting the OK from his family.
“I considered it lengthy,” Fowler acknowledged. “It’s a definite diploma, notably with the customized over there. I do know what’s anticipated and I’m acutely aware of the pressures.
“I’ve been there. I perceive what it’s about.”