CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — John Bowler is the new Parkland College men’s basketball coach. The Chicago native comes to Champaign from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he’s been an assistant coach since 2019.

“Had the opportunity to come back and be a head coach and it was one of the things I jumped at,” Bowler said. “I really enjoy the level. I love what I’m able to do here with our guys. The relationships I’m able to build on a smaller campus. It was just something that was really attractive to me. My goal here is to win as much as we can both on the court, off the court, in the classroom, do the things we’re supposed to do and that stuff will kind of handle itself.”

Bowler replaces Anthony Figueroa who left Parkland in May to become the head coach at North Central, a Division III school in Naperville. Bowler began his coaching career in 2013 as a graduate assistant at Delta State University, in Cleveland, Mississippi, where he earned his master’s degree in Education of Sports and Human Performance. In 2014, while completing his degree, Bowler became the Associate Head Coach and Assistant Housing Director at Des Moines Area Community College. Bowler held this position until he was promoted to Head Coach and Academic Advisor at DMACC for the 2018-2019 season. In five seasons at Des Moines, Bowler produced three NJCAA All-Americans, four NJCAA All-Region selections and 11 ICCAC All-Conference players. From 2014-2019, John Bowler’s staff had 12 junior college athletes transfer to NCAA Division I programs, and 11 players transfer to Division II programs, the most of any junior college at that level.

“Parkland College Athletics is very fortunate and excited to announce that coach John Bowler will be the next head coach of the Cobra Men’s Basketball program,” Parkland athletic director Brendan McHale said. “We are looking forward to seeing Coach Bowler showcase his experiences and talents both now and in the future. John complements our existing and talented Cobra coaching staff very well.”