Graduates from Smithfield-Selma High School
Meets future wife, Sue
Graduates from Appalachian State University
• Coach and physical education teacher at Kenly Junior High, coaching football and girls basketball.
• Football team goes 1-5, girls basketball team goes 9-1.
Coach and teacher at Cooper Junior High. Started the football program there, going 18-1-1 as a coach.
Joins Clayton High School staff, serves as defensive coordinator on Glenn Nixon’s staff
Drew Fowler, Gary and Sue’s oldest, born. He would go on to lead the Comets football team to 12-3 record in his senior season (2002) and the 3AA regional championship game before playing in the Shrine Bowl and accepting an appointment to the Air Force Academy where he played football.
• Named head football coach to replace Nixon
• Wins first game as head coach, a 6-0 win over South Johnston
• Leads first Clayton football team to 9-3 record. Comet team captains are Terry Foye, Kent Davis and Eddie Price, a future assistant coach and currently the principal at South Johnston High School
Named Clayton High School athletic director, replacing Nixon who took an administration job with Johnston County Schools
• Comets finish 9-3 go to third round of playoffs with what Fowler called his “best team athletically” he coached. “ I knew we had something good starting then.”
• Cameron Fowler, Gary and Sue’s youngest, is born. She serves as a manager and trainer for four years. Currently a nurse at WakeMed in Raleigh.
Friday, Dec. 8, 1989
Fowler leads a community effort to tarp the entire Clayton High School football field with an ice storm expected overnight and on Saturday.
Saturday, Dec. 9, 1989
Freezing rain turns to sleet, freezing the tarps on top of the field.
Sunday, Dec. 10, 1989
Clayton residents get creative to break up the ice, trying to prepare the field for a Monday night game. Resort to using four-wheelers to ride atop the frozen tarp, breaking up the ice so the tarps can be removed.
Monday, Dec. 11, 1989
Field deemed safe for play. The Comets defeat Monroe 16-0 to win the 2A state championship at Clayton High. It’s the last championship game to be played on a high school campus in the state.
Comets go 11-1, wrapping up a three-year run with a combined 36-3 record.
Serves as a coach for the N.C. Coaches Association East-West Game
Serves as an assistant coach on the North Carolina Shrine Bowl squad
Named Clayton Citizen of the Year
Named Carolina Panthers Coach of the Week
Comets make their first regional championship game appearance since 1989, falling to Greensboro Dudley 36-21 in the 3AA championship
Serves as president of the N.C. Football Coaches Association
Comets go 9-5 in their first year of 4A play, advancing to third round of state playoffs. It’s the last team that came from one middle school
The Comets fortunes on the field hit their lowest point, going 0-11. Fowler’s only winless season.
Is head coach of the Shrine Bowl squad of North Carolina
Named Greater Neuse River 4A Conference football coach of the year in his final season after leading Comets to a second place finish in the conference, second round of playoffs; Clayton finishes 9-5, falling to Wilmington New Hanover in playoffs.