Born and raised in Logandale, Nick Bowler grew up in Moapa Valley enjoying the enormous freedom the area provided for kids to play—from riding bikes to roaming the hills. In high school, he was active in sports, drama, and debate. He spent a large portion of his college career at UNLV studying pre-med with the intention of becoming a doctor. In the end, though, he decided to follow his true passion to become a coach.
“I feel you should really enjoy whatever you’re doing,” says Nick. “And I based my career on what I enjoyed doing most. I knew it wasn’t necessarily going to make me the most money, but I knew it was going to make me the most happy.”
Nick began coaching and teaching in 1978 at Clark High School in Las Vegas before transferring to Moapa Valley in 1980. His pre-med training made him more valuable as a teacher because he was able to easily fulfill the requirements to teach science and biology, as well as coaching.
And coaching was where his heart was. “A good coach is also a good teacher,” he says. “And coaching makes the school year fun—it keeps you excited and anticipating the next big game.” He coached football, boys and girls’ basketball, and baseball, in addition to introducing both girls’ softball and boys’ golf to Moapa Valley High School. As Head Football Coach, he led the MVHS football team to win two state championships in the 1990s.
“I’ve always applied my philosophy about enjoyment to my work with students,” he says. “Enjoyment is a motivator. And I felt it was my responsibility to find a way to help students enjoy the process of learning.”
After 26 years at Moapa Valley High School, Nick retired in 2006, but it was a retirement that didn’t stick. Nick quickly returned to teach seventh grade science in the middle school for another four years and retired for good in 2010.
Update from 2023:
Nick and his wife recently marked their 50th wedding anniversary and had a delightful time celebrating with family and friends. Nick’s family is the most important thing in his life: two of his sons live in Moapa Valley and other family are nearby. He loves the weather and the people in the valley and describes it as a great community. Nick says he and his wife are “happy and thriving,” and they are looking forward to an upcoming getaway to Santa Fe. Afterward, they’ll look forward to coming back to the home they cherish, where Nick says he just loves the people of his community.