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Community pushes to help coach see his son in the Olympics

Alex Bowen is competing in his third Olympics as a water polo player
Posted at 7:44 PM, Apr 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-23 22:44:25-04

SANTEE, Calif. (KGTV) — A Santana High School graduate is headed to the Olympics again to play water polo. Alex Bowen is headed to Paris, but the Santee community is trying to help his number-one fan get there to watch the matches.

Bowen's father, Rod, has been a staple at Santana High School.
"I've been the boys' water polo coach, and I'm heading into my 30th year being here at Santana," He said.

In those 30 years at Santana, he's done a lot of winning too, including 16 straight league titles at one point. That includes teams featuring both of his sons.

"Alex was a part of the team from 2007- 2010," he says of his Olympian son. "He had a wonderful experience here."

The elder Bowen's coaching must have worked at least a little. Alex Bowen is headed to his third Olympics this summer with USA Water Polo.

But the question is if Rod and his wife Barb, will be there too.

"Oh, I'm sure he would be disappointed if we didn't go," Rod adds.

Getting to Paris isn't cheap. Neither is the lodging. USA Water Polo gives Alex Bowen a stipend and two tickets to matches, his father says. Nothing more.

"Like coach was saying, cost is huge," friend and Santana strength coach Andrew Harman told ABC 10News. Harman has three sons who played for Bowen at Santana, and he has an idea too.

"My boys all look up to him as a father," Harman added. I thought it'd be a nice idea to try to, get a GouFundMe going for coach and his wife, to get him over there."

The fundraiser, thus far has already passed $2,700

So after years of taking care of the Santana program, Harman is hoping to get Rod Bowen to the Olympics, to see his son.

"I just wanted to do something to really help him and his wife, to go watch Alex play."

If he does get a chance to see his son in the Olympics, don't look for him to stop coaching.

"Sometimes I have to go stand off by myself," Rod Bowen laughed.

To view the GoFundMe for the coach and his wife, click here.