Chad Conine Discusses Tommy Bowman: Answering The Call
Fabled is thrilled to host Chad Conine to discuss his new book, Tommy Bowman: Answering the Call. He will join us for a conversation and signing on Tuesday, December 19th at 7PM!
About the Book:
The call came for Tommy Bowman unexpectedly and yet he followed with conviction. It happened at a time when revolution was coming to Southwest Conference football and basketball during the 1966-67 school year. John Westbrook, a Baylor walk-on, became the first African American to play in an SWC varsity football game in September of 1966. At SMU, Jerry LeVias carried the torch as the SWC?s first Black scholarship football player and took the field for the Mustangs that season. By the end of the fall semester, TCU?s James Cash became the SWC?s first African American scholarship athlete to play in a varsity basketball game.
In Tommy Bowman, Chad Conine, a Waco sportswriter, tells the story of Tommy Bowman?s impact on not only Baylor basketball, but Baylor as a whole. Tommy Bowman quietly arrived at Baylor in 1966 for the fall semester. He found himself, almost by surprise, integrating the Baylor basketball team. Bowman had been recruited by Baylor basketball assistant coach Carroll Dawson to be a pioneer for the Bears?Baylor?s first Black scholarship athlete. It was a case of a young man being thrust into a game-changing role. Dawson discovered Bowman by a chance encounter at a service station in East Texas. Both coach and player now describe it as God?s providence. Bowman faced without flinching all the challenges of helping to break the race barrier in the SWC. With the help of his Baylor teammates, he excelled on the court and on campus.
Now, more than fifty years later, Bowman?s achievements have gained their rightful acclaim. He is a member of the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame and the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame. Despite his own humble tendency to avoid the spotlight, Bowman?s Bear teammates have ushered him forward as one of the program?s heroes. They recognize how he answered the call and changed Baylor for the better.
About the Author:
Chad S. Conine is the author of The Republic of Football: Legends of the Texas High School Game; Texas Sports: Unforgettable Stories for Every Day of the Year (University of Texas Press); and now Tommy Bowman: Answering the Call (Baylor University Press). As a freelance sportswriter and staff member at the Waco Tribune-Herald, he has covered a variety of sports for the last twenty-five years. His focus on high school and college basketball has included covering multiple boys’ and girls’ state tournaments and men’s and women’s Final Fours for a variety of publications. He lives in Waco, Texas.