Skip to main content

Coming home: Spiro native Kyle Fowler takes over as Bulldogs football coach

Fowler is a former Bulldogs player and assistant coach.

By Buck Ringgold

When addressing his Salina football team, Kyle Fowler told them there were two coaching jobs he would consider leaving them for if given the opportunity.

One was his favorite college football team, the University of Oklahoma. The other was his alma mater, Spiro.

While Fowler never heard from the Sooners when they were filling their coaching vacancy several months ago, he did hear from Spiro and finally decided to return home.

Fowler, who has nearly two decades of head coaching experience, was announced as the Bulldogs' new coach earlier this week.

"I'll tell you exactly what I told the kids there at Salina; there was two jobs I would leave Salina for, and one of them (Oklahoma) was taken by Brent Venables not too long ago. ... I was serious when I said that and that was the truth," Fowler said. "But (Spiro) was certainly one place that would draw me back in a hurry."

The former Bulldog player also has prior coaching experience at Spiro. He was an assistant under longtime coach Chris Bunch in the 1990s, and was part of two Bulldog teams that finished as Class 3A state runner-up in 1996 and again in 1998.

Fowler also served five seasons as Spiro's baseball coach. In 1991, he led the Bulldogs to the 3A state title, a team that included Ryan Franklin, who helped lead the United States to the 2000 Olympic gold medal and was later an All-Star closer for the St. Louis Cardinals.

"I coached there 10 years through the '90s, baseball and football and everything else, but once I left there, I got a few head coaching gigs," Fowler said. "But I guess the dream job was to always come back to Spiro, but the timing was just never there, and as I'm ending my coaching career, everything kind of fell into place and I couldn't be more ecstatic to be able to go back and finish out my coaching career in Spiro."

Fowler's first head coaching job was in 2001 at Vian, a tradition-rich program that had fallen on hard times, and in fact was winless the season before he arrived. But Fowler helped revive the Wolverines, guiding them to two playoff appearances in three seasons before leaving to take over at Muldrow.

Like Vian, Muldrow had gone winless the season before he arrived. Again, Fowler worked his magic, and the Bulldogs eventually qualified for the postseason for three straight seasons, from 2006-08.

Fowler served two stints at Salina, having previously served there from 2013-15. In his first season there, he led the Wildcats from four wins to a 9-3 record. 

After a stint coaching junior high football in Van Buren, Ark., Fowler returned to Salina this past season, with the Wildcats finishing 5-5.

Coincidentally, that was also Spiro's record last season under Brett Davis, who left after one season to coach high school football in Arizona.

Read More

Central-Fresno vs Clovis FB Chris Aguirre Sept. 29