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Oxford’s Bud Rowley steps down after 43 seasons, 264 wins

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, November 4, 2019, 12:05 pm

The yellow pants will no longer be on the sidelines. 

Oxford coach Bud Rowley — renowned for his trademark yellow pants — announced his retirement on Monday, hanging up his whistle after 43 seasons on the Wildcats’ bench.

Rowley told his players in a morning meeting on Monday, according to a post on the school’s web site.

“I am the luckiest man alive to have been able to coach here in Oxford,” Rowley was quoted in the story on the site. “I love the kids, coaches, and people in Oxford, but it is just my time.”

Rowley became the head coach at Oxford in 1976, and compiled a record of 264-152-1 — good for a tie for 19th place on the all-time wins list in Michigan history — taking the Wildcats to 20 playoff appearances, three trips to the state finals (1990, 1992, 1993), claiming the program’s only state title win in 1992, with a 20-13 victory over Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills.

The Wildcats were one of the surprising stories of the 2018 season, going 8-3 to finish tied for second in the OAA Red  and make the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, but slipped to 1-8 this season. From 1982 (when Rowley returned from a brief, two-year hiatus at Madison Heights Bishop Foley) to 2009, the Wildcats posted 28 consecutive winning seasons, tied for the ninth-longest streak in state history. That streak ended in 2010, when the Wildcats went 3-6 in their first year in the Oakland Activities Association, after switching over from the Flint Metro. 

From 1986 to 2009, the Wildcats won a share of 12 Flint Metro titles. 

The Wildcats had just nine losing seasons in Rowley’s tenure.