Chad McDowell has officially stepped into the role of Athletic Director and Head Coach of the Lady Pilots Tennis team. McDowell has been in transition towards his new position since Doug Robinson announced his retirement four months ago. McDowell has served at the helm of the Men's Basketball Program since its resurrection in 2003 and has been Assistant Athletic Director since 2008. He was recommended for the top spot by recently retired Athletic Director Doug Robinson and unanimously approved by the LSUS Athletic Council.
McDowell was called upon by Robinson in 2003 to resurrect a men's basketball program that had been disbanded in 1997. McDowell was coaching at Southwood High School when he received the news LSUS would be bringing back their men's and women's basketball teams. McDowell accepted the Head Coaching position for LSUS and then finished the year as Southwood's coach leading the Cowboys to a 37 - 3 record. "I hired Coach McDowell when I was at Southwood and you see what his teams did there," Robinson commented. "When I was asked to look for a men's basketball coach to start our program, I went and got Coach McDowell again. He is a leader and I knew what kind of job he would do. He will be a great Athletic Director as well."
McDowell has held up his end of the bargain with Robinson at Southwood and LSU Shreveport. He had tremendous amounts of success at Southwood and has had even more during his time leading the Pilots of LSU Shreveport. McDowell began his college coaching career leading the Pilots to a 21 - 12 finish in their first year of reinstating the program. That would be the fewest wins any of McDowell's teams at LSUS would record. Since that time, the Pilots have averaged over 27 wins per season. McDowell has led the Pilots to an unprecedented seven conference tournament championships and four regular season championships. During McDowell's tenure, the Pilots have been a mainstay in NAIA's Top 25 and have qualified for the NAIA National Tournament eight consecutive seasons.
His leadership for the student-athletes under his watch extends well beyond the lines of a basketball court. McDowell has instilled a sense of family and togetherness and says it has been his goal from day one to teach his players more about life off the basketball floor rather than on it. "What we have achieved in regards to wins and losses, rankings, and championship banners over these past nine years is a sense of accomplishment for us all," commented McDowell. "However, none of those things come close to measuring up in value to the relationships that have been built and life lessons learned. It's truly about so much more than the numbers on both sides of a dash (referring to a win-loss record)."
Though not the main thing in McDowell's mind, it remains a fact that the Pilots are Louisiana's most winning college basketball program since its reinstatement in 2003. During McDowell's tenure, the Pilots have posted an overall record of 239 - 66 (79%) and were an amazing 120 - 13 (90%) in games played in their home gym known as The Dock. McDowell and many of his players have garnered individual awards over the past nine years due to their success on the floor.
Both McDowell and his players have been recognized for their performance outside the lines as well and it's these awards that are valued the most. "The awards our players have received for their individual performance on the floor or an award I received because of our team's success are all good and appreciated," stated McDowell. "However, the awards that really make your heart smile are the ones that recognize your actions off the floor." McDowell's Pilots have had four players (Josh Porter, Greg Tyer, Jared Stevenson, Jake Greene) selected as National Champions of Character Award Winners and the 2005 - 2006 team was honored as winners of the inaugural NAIA Champions of Character Team Award. McDowell was recently recognized himself with the NAIA National Coach of Character Award.
McDowell now sets his eyes on leading LSUS' Athletic Department with the same enthusiasm and drive he displayed as the men's basketball coach. "I am very thankful. First and foremost I am thankful to my Lord for everything," stated McDowell. "I am extremely honored and humbled by the confidence and endorsement that LSU Shreveport's Administration, Doug Robinson, and the Athletic Council have expressed in me. My time spent here as both a student and employee are some of the best days of my life. I look forward to the opportunities ahead in helping LSU Shreveport grow."