VIDEO: Cocoa High Basketball Coach James Rowe Retires after 24 Years Leading the Tigers
By Steve Wilson, Space Coast Daily // February 25, 2018
2016 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Inductee, Guided Cocoa to 2009 State Championship
ABOVE VIDEO: Coach James Rowe, Jr., retiring after 24 years of coaching basketball at Cocoa High School. This tribute was during his last home game on February 9, 2018. (Steve Wilson video)
Has Recorded An Incredible 444-188 Career Record With Tigers, Won 2009 State Championship
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Cocoa High basketball coach James Rowe, Jr., who was inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, has decided to retire after leading the Tigers for 24 years.
The Cocoa High and Rockledge native fondly recalls his early basketball playing days around the age of 13 at Lake View Park. Although he also played baseball and football, to him the other sports were just a hobby.
Basketball was his first love. After playing a pivotal role in his 8th-grade year at Clearlake Junior High School when his team won the county championship, he moved up to Cocoa High where he played multiple sports.
James played four years of basketball, two at the varsity level, and during his senior year was the point guard on a Cocoa Tigers team that went 31-2 and was ranked number one in the state.
He played varsity baseball his junior year. After graduating from Cocoa High School, James attended Florida Tech for one year. Without question, the best thing that happened to him that year was meeting his future wife, Louise, or as everyone knows her, Ms. Lou! James then went to Daytona Beach Community College and played ball.
In midseason, the entire team was taken off scholarship, so James came back home to get a job. While visiting a Cocoa Tigers basketball practice one day, Coach Bob Ebersbach asked James to be the JV coach.
Before accepting the position, James told him he wanted to pray about it and also wanted to talk with his wife. He said if he was at peace, he would accept the position, which he did, and at that moment James became Coach Rowe.
Coach Rowe has gone on to an incredible 444-188 career record with the Tiger roundballers and won the state championship in 2009.
That team may not have been his best on paper, but they had a tremendous amount of faith that they were going to do something special.
It was also a year that Coach Rowe was battling cancer. The coaching staff pulled together, the players pulled together, and the Tigers became one.
When asked if basketball is important to James, his reply was, “It is very important. The mental toughness you develop, and the fact that you learn a lot through adversity helped me to fight cancer.”
ABOVE VIDEO: Coach James Rowe, who was inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, has posted an incredible 444-188 career record with the Cocoa Tiger roundballers, and won the state championship in 2009.
HAVE A HUMBLE ATTITUDE
Family is incredibly important to James. He has been married to his wife, Lou, for 32 years. Both of his sons, James and David are in the coaching profession. James is a defensive assistant with the Washington Redskins, and David is the defensive backs coach at Valdosta State.
What James is most proud of, however, is the fact that, not only are his sons great coaches but really good people. James’ faith has always been very important to him. He believes he is doing what he is called to do.
Coaching has never been a struggle for James, and he says this very humbly. He knows he could not do this without Him.
How has Coach Rowe been so successful on the court? Coach believes that if you always try to do things the right way, winning will take care of itself.
James gets his most enjoyment watching players grow into good people, by simply growing up. He tries to teach his players to keep God first and to always be grateful for what they have with a humble attitude.
He will be greatly missed, not only by Cocoa High School but the community as well. He leaves a legacy that will be hard to match. Coach James Rowe truly is one of the “good guys.”
THE 2018 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 11.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2018 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com
CLICK HERE to see all the members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
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