Thomas Walter Dowling Jr., 77, passed away Sunday, January 7, 2018 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
A native of Springfield, he was born March 8, 1940 to the late Thomas Walter, Sr. and Katherine Gooch Dowling.
He was a graduate of Springfield High School where he was an outstanding athlete, lettering in football, basketball, baseball, and track. Coach Dowling was a graduate of Georgetown College, a member of Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity, tri-captain of the football team, won the shot-put KIAC Championship, and was a former member of the Georgetown College Board of Trustees. He began his coaching career at Newport Public High School, Newport, KY as an assistant football coach and head track coach. He enjoyed six years as the head Football and Track Coach at Glen Este High School in Cincinnati before returning to his Alma Mater as an assistant football coach. Three years later he was named head football coach at Georgetown, restoring the football program to a place of prominence in the NAIA. He served seven years as the Head Football Coach at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia taking the Flames from no affiliation to NAIA and NCAA membership. He built the foundation for future teams.
Coach Dowling then returned to Kentucky to begin the football program at Cumberland College, now the University of the Cumberlands, coaching the Indians to an undefeated season in 1988. He retired from coaching to become the First Commissioner of the Mid South Conference. Coach Dowling was an ordained deacon, a member of Georgetown Baptist Church where he taught the Fields Sunday School Class, and a member of the American Football Coaches’ Association where he served on the Foundation Committee. He was inducted into the Georgetown College, University of the Cumberlands, and the Glen Este High School Athletic Halls of Fame.
He is survived by his wife of fifty-six years, Mary Ann Garnett Dowling; two sisters, Marian Chamberlain, Daytona Beach, FL and Martha (Bob) Durbin, Danville; four special nieces, Robin Pomeroy, Carlisle, PA, Lesley Littlejohn, Atlanta, GA, Helen (Ted) Williams, Kensington, MD, Christy Conner, Franklin, NC; several cousins, and numerous friends, coaches, and former players.
The funeral service will be held Thursday, January 11th, at 10 a.m., at the John L. Hill Chapel on the campus of Georgetown College with Rev. Alan Redditt, Rev. Ken Holden, Coach Mike Ayers and Coach Charlie Persson officiating.
Interment will be in the Georgetown Cemetery and will be followed by a luncheon/reception at the Georgetown College Conference Center by Toyota Stadium.
Serving as pallbearers will be Dr. Robert Ballou, Jim Carty, Gene Dyson, Ron Manning, Ray Graham, Flash Williams, Bill Cronin and Jerry Chadwell.
Honorary bearers will be Phillip Giles, Coach Bob Davis and Coach Bobby Barlow.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Georgetown College Football, On The Right Track Scholarship at The University of the Cumberlands, Georgetown College, Georgetown Baptist Church or The Pancreatic Cancer Society.
Funeral arrangements by Johnson’s Funeral Home in Georgetown, KY.