Coach James Rowe, Jr. – A Tribute


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Written By: Jordan Rocco

Sources: Space Coast Daily & Florida Today

When we graduate high school, most of us are 17 or 18 years old. Coach James Rowe has dedicated 24 years of his life to the Cocoa High Boys Basketball program. You can now really understand how long he’s been here.

This Friday will be the last home game he ever coaches.

Before Rowe decided to take the job, he played basketball. In eighth grade he helped Clearlake Middle School win the Brevard County championship. Soon he moved on to Cocoa High where he played four years of basketball, two years at the varsity level and one year of varsity baseball.

Rowe was a talented basketball player. During his senior season he helped lead the Tigers to a 31-2 record and a No. 1 ranking in the state. After graduation, Rowe attended and played basketball at Florida Tech for one year and he met his future wife, Louise.

After one year at Florida Tech, Rowe decided to transfer to Daytona Beach Community College. Unfortunately, in the middle of the season every player was taken off scholarship. Fortunately, Rowe came back home and found the perfect job for him.

Visiting a Cocoa Tigers basketball practice one evening, Rowe was offered to be the coach of the junior varsity team. After thinking, praying and talking to his family about it, Rowe accepted the position.

Twenty-two years later, Rowe has posted a remarkable 441-173 record. Rowe has coached many talented players and helped make them not only become great athletes, but also great men. One of his many talented teams was the 2009 Boys varsity team. This team won the State Championship.

Not only has he helped his players grow, but he has also raised his two sons, James and David. Both of his sons have gone onto having incredible careers. James Rowe III was a left hand pitcher for the USF Bulls in 2005-2007, and now he is the assistant defensive backs coach for the Washington Redskins.

Taken by Florida Today

Before James decided to take the NFL job, he was the defensive coordinator for Valdosta State. Now, David is a assistant coach for Valdosta State. David played for Rutgers University as a defensive back for four seasons. Needless to say, Coach James Rowe and his two sons have each had tremendous coaching careers.

Coach James Rowe has had to overcome adversity throughout his career. In 2006 Rowe was diagnosed with cancer this did not hold him back, he only missed one game that season. 

The athletic director at the time was Chuck Goldfarb and he made a deal with Rowe that he could sit in a van on the side of the football field every Friday night so that he could watch his son David’s senior season as a wide receiver for the Tigers and watch his son James III serve as the assistant coach of the Tigers.

Luckily Rowe never gave up and was able to overcome cancer and continued to serve as the head coach of the Tigers boys basketball team.

Rowe has won nine Cape Coast Conference titles, had 15 playoff appearance, named the State Coach of the Year three times and earned an induction into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.

Coach Rowe has done so much for the boys basketball program and our community. Although, this will be his final game as the head coach of the boys basketball team, he still will be a campus monitor and head coach of the boys golf team. He has worked as a teacher assistant for about twenty years until two years ago when he became our campus monitor and he has been a coach of the boys golf team for three years.

All are invited to the boys varsity basketball game Friday to show respect toward Coach James Rowe. This will not only be his final game, but senior night as well. The game will be at the Cocoa High gymnasium against Heritage.

I am grateful that Coach Rowe gave me the opportunity to announce for the team last season and some of this season. I’d like to thank you coach for helping me become a better announcer and a better person by teaching me to just “chill.”

I am also thankful for his selfies.

This Friday there will be many former players and family of coach’s attending and speaking about their favorite memories of coach. Coach Keith Washington his main assistant coach and JV head coach of all 22 seasons will be retiring along with him. Long time assistant coach Bud Williams will be retiring as well. 

On behalf of every student, former player, and anyone who has interacted with Coach James Rowe, Jr., thank you for all your time as our basketball coach.

Beat the Panthers!

 

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Coach James Rowe, Jr. – A Tribute”

  1. LINDA BATTLE on February 9th, 2018 4:33 am

    MAY GOD!S BLESSINGS CONTINUE TO ABIDE EEEFINITEWITH. AND YOUR OTHER HALVES,I YOU JOURNEY ON, IT!S. DEFINITELY! BEEN AND IS A PLEASURE TO KNOW YOU. TO HAVE TRAVEL AS FORMER GIRLS COCOA VARSITY. STATE CHAMPIONS AS WELL AND SOME GOOD ADVICE SKILLS THAT YOU GAVE TO ME. WE’RE I ATTENDED. ON BASKETBALL SCHLORSHIP TO U.C.F. ORLANDO FL. THANKS FOR YOUR. HELP ENCOURAGEMENT TO ENDURE. GOD BLESS YOU ALL. IT!S BEEN AN HONOR TO KNOW YOU

    [Reply]

  2. Diane Phillips on February 9th, 2018 5:27 pm

    I’ll always remember the state championship game. Any coach who can bring a team from a 22-point deficit at halftime to a 15-point victory can work motivational magic with his words. Thanks for always supporting our student-athletes beyond court or field behavior to respectful appreciation of their teachers too. We all love you.

    [Reply]

  3. Linda Blackmer on February 9th, 2018 10:08 pm

    Congrats on your successful career coaching basketball at CHS! I have enjoyed many of your games throughout the years. I know it has to be bittersweet to end this part of your life, but you have definitely gone OVER AND BEYOND for the students and players. You will be missed, but not forgotten. You have cwrtainly left a wonderful legacy! I wish you many happy and fun years ahead, watching your 2 fantastic sons in their coaching careers ! They are sure to be successful too, having a great role model like you!!! God bless you and your family!! Prayers here!!! Love, Linda B ♥️♥️♥️

    [Reply]

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