The concept of educating for character has always been one of the core themes of our American educational system and has taken center stage in New Mexico schools in the last few years. Parents, community leaders and educators are agreeing that positive values and ethics must be taught, enforced, advocated and modeled in our homes and institutions. Many schools and community groups from throughout the state have adopted the Character Counts program which teaches the values of respect, responsibility, caring, citizenship, fairness and trustworthiness.
Athletics has traditionally been accepted as a primary arena for teaching good character. While modern culture seems to emphasize winning at all costs and highly paid athletes who do not model good character, the experiences of our young athletes still contain many positive influences. Many young men and women report their earliest lessons on fairness, sportsmanship, effort, discipline and integrity were learned on athletic teams. The primary teacher of these young people and often the most influential adults in their lives, are athletic coaches.
This award is named the Ralph Bowyer Coaching for Character Award to honor one of New Mexico’s most respected coaches who modeled good character throughout his life.
The Ralph Bowyer Coaching for Character Award seeks to reward those coaches who accept teaching of character as a primary role in their professional lives.
This award will be presented annually to a coach of interscholastic athletics in a New Mexico public or private school who has consistently served as a role model of character for young athletes.
Marty Wilson, coordinator for character education for the Albuquerque Public Schools, originated and developed this award. On March 19, 1999, she presented a proposal to the Board of Directors for the creation of this award, which was approved and adopted by the Board on that date.
To be eligible for this annual award a coach (head or assistant) must:
- Be a current member of the New Mexico High School Coaches Association
- Have been in the coaching profession in the State of New Mexico a minimum of five years
- Have consistently demonstrated good character in his/her life
- Have influenced young athletes in a positive way
- In exceptional circumstances, a coach might be nominated after one exceptional incident of good character that caught the attention of his/her community and/or the general public.
- A retired coach is eligible for the award if he/she meets the above criteria.