Rowley inducted into Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame football coach Bud Rowley loves the game. He loves his family and he loves to WIN. Photos by D. Rush

By Don Rush

One thing you can say about Oxford resident and former Oxford Varsity Football Coach Maurice “Bud” Rowley is, he is consistent. He likes to win. On June 24 he won again – being inducted into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame along with 13 other coaches. A plaque with his photo and accomplishments will be displayed at the University of Michigan.

I’m 73 years old,” Rowley said. “And, bless the man upstairs, I’m living my best life. I get to work with my son every day and my first grandson was just born.”

For the last three years Rowley has been the offensive and defensive line coach for Armada High School, where his son Kyle is head coach. Last year Armada made it to the state district finals.

The senior Rowley has coached high school football for 49 seasons compiling 295 wins, 184 losses and one tie. Most of those wins and seasons coaching was in Oxford. He had two coaching stints here, from 1973 to 1976 and then from 1982 through 2019.

High school football is the greatest game going,” Rowley said. “High school athletes are the greatest. College is going for money and the pros, well, I will just say high school football is the greatest, the most pure.”

An Adrian native, Rowley received a degree in education from Northern Michigan University in 1972. Joining Oxford High School as a teacher and coach the following year, he was promoted to the head coaching position in 1976. Inheriting a struggling program, Rowley’s first stint resulted in just 11 wins over four seasons. He was replaced by Mike Buck after the 1979 season, he spent the next two years at Bishop Foley Catholic. Rowley and his famed yellow pants returned to the Wildcats sideline in 1982 and established Oxford as one of the most consistent programs in Oakland County. The Wildcats posted 28 consecutive winning seasons from 1982-2009, the fourth-longest streak in the history of the state of Michigan.

Inducted into the Oxford Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011, Rowley’s teams won 10 Flint Metro League titles from 1984-2009. Leading the Wildcats to their only state championship in 1992 at the Pontiac Silverdome, he took Oxford to the state title game three times and remains the winningest coach in FML history.

When reflecting on his success, Rowley is quick to say why. “The only reason Bud Rowley did well is because of the great kids, great coaches and great parents. I was just in the driver’s seat as the head coach. It was those kids who worked their tails off, ran sprints and lifted weights. They believed. They were on the same page for many years. If it wasn’t for them I’d just be the guy cutting the lawn. I love football. And, in football you have to be tough.”

During this off season Rowley is working with the Armada team four days a week in conditioning. “If you’re going to do something, believe in it. And, if you’re going to do it, do it to win,” he said, then turning around to show the back of his Armada football tee shirt. In big block letters, it simply read: WIN.

One Response to "Rowley inducted into Hall of Fame"

  1. jim Sherman   July 7, 2022 at 9:51 am

    hall of fame coach! how many of those has oxford had? thank you, Bud.


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