Dr. Joseph C. Bowman came to USC Upstate in 1968, and over the next 30 years was instrumental in the growth and success of the Rifles athletics program and its student-athletes.
Bowman served six years (1969-75) as the athletic director, and he was largely responsible for the hiring of coaches and staff members whom ultimately brought success and recognition to the University. He also oversaw the move from two-year to full NAIA status and laid the groundwork for future NCAA success.
He began his coaching career in 1969 when he took over the men's basketball program and led a group of walk-ons to nine victories and a second-place finish in the Carolina League conference tournament. Bowman coached the basketball team through 1974, and the bowling team from 1972-76. He earned All-District Coach of the Year honors in 1977 for golf, a sport which he coached for 11 years (1970-80). In 1978, he took over the volleyball program and compiled a 352-161 record in 11 seasons (1978-87, 1995).