Jay Bowen is in his second season with the Lady Tiger basketball program for 2006-07. He joined the program in April of 2005 after spending a season at Lafayette High School in Oxford, Miss. as the boy's team head coach.
"The hiring of Jay Bowen is a tremendous help to our program," Lady Tiger Head Coach Blair Savage said. "He brings something to the staff in his knowledge of the game and his Xs and Os background. All of his former coaches commented on his strong basketball background. He has the contacts and the basketball knowledge to really benefit our program. He has been in the game a long time, and he knows what it takes to get it done. And since he's a Craigmont grad, his Memphis background is something we are really excited about."
A graduate of Christian Brothers University in Memphis in 1984, Bowen went on to serve as CBU's assistant men's basketball coach, helping the 1986-87 squad to a second place finish in the National Catholic Tournament. He moved to Armstrong State College in Savannah, Georgia in 1987, where he served as a men's assistant basketball coach while the program moved from NCAA Division I to II. Bowen stayed at Armstrong State from 1987-88 before becoming a graduate assistant coach at Ole Miss from 1988-1989. Following Ole Miss, Bowen moved to East Central Community College, where he recruited 12 freshman to help rebuild the ECCC program. In 1990-91, the ECCC squad posted a 21-6 record, the best-ever record in 30 years and the third-best in school history. He was voted the Area Coach of the Year in 1991 and guided ECCC to its first state championship the following year.
His success at ECCC led to an assistant coaching position at Georgia State University in Atlanta where he handled the recruiting duties for the Panthers, whom he joined in 1991. In 1994, Bowen was promoted to the top assistant coaching slot, where he coordinated the defense and the implementation of the motion offense.
In May of 1996, Bowen returned to the state of Mississippi, assuming the Head Coach's job at Jackson Academy. There, he guided his team to a 33-2 record, an undefeated regular season, a Conference Tournament championship and the AAAA State Tournament. He was also named the AAAA Coach of the Year.
In June of 1998, Bowen took the head basketball coaching job for the East Central Community College team. Guiding a team that had not had a winning season in five years, Bowen guided ECCC to a winning record, and had 12 players signed to NCAA Division I scholarships in three seasons. He also served as the men's and women's tennis coach at ECCC.
In August of 2001, Bowen was brought on board at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., as an assistant basketball coach and recruiting coordinator. There, the Governors lost in the semifinals of the Ohio Valley Conference, and Bowen's recruiting class of 2001-02 went on to win back-to-back OVC Championships, including an undefeated conference record in 2003-04.
His success recruiting at Austin Peay State presented an opportunity to join Ole Miss as the Director of Basketball Operations (DBO) for the men's basketball program. At Ole Miss, Bowen oversaw the film exchange and scouting program and coordinated the on-campus recruiting effort. He served as the DBO at Ole Miss from July 2002 until April of 2004, when he was promoted to an assistant basketball coaching spot, where he recruited the starting point guard and the SEC's Sixth Man for the Rebels.
In July of 2004, Bowen was named the Head Basketball Coach at Lafaytte High School in Oxford, Miss, where he took over rebuilding the program. His 2004-05 team won more games than the previous seven years, and beat the sixth-ranked team in the state while starting one junior, four sophomores and using an 8th grader as a sixth man.
Bowen earned his Master's Degree in Education from then-Memphis State in 1988. He is married to the former Christy Perry and they have two daughters, Kathryne Ashleigh and Katelyn Ansley. He will continue to live in Lafayette County and commute to allow his two daughters to stay in the Lafayette School system.