Oregon Coach Takes Teen to High School Prom, Loses Post

By Suzan Clarke

May 22, 2012 6:30am

A married female, volunteer coach who escorted a 17-year-old Oregon high school athlete to his prom has been dismissed from her post.

Melissa Bowerman, 41, drew strange looks when she arrived at the Condon High School’s prom with the boy last month, according to a report in the East Oregonian newspaper.

Bowerman is the daughter-in-law of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman. She is married to Jon Bowerman, who is 73.

She and her husband were volunteer coaches for the Condon-Wheeler track-and-field team.

Bowerman acknowledged to the East Oregonian that she made an error in judgment, but says she did not have a romantic relationship with the teen, according to KTVZ TV in Central Oregon.

Melissa Bowerman said she went to the prom with the boy because he felt bad about not having a date and had been struggling in English class, the Associated Press reported.

She said the two danced to a few slow songs but mostly played pingpong and foosball at the event, the AP also reported, citing the East Oregonian.

The Gilliam County sheriff has said there was no evidence Bowerman broke the law. Her husband has said he might resign if she isn’t reinstated, the AP also reported, adding that the boy’s father gave Bowerman permission to take his son to the dance.

“The first thing I thought, ‘Maybe this isn’t a good idea,’” Bob Thomas told the AP. “But Melissa has been like a surrogate mom to these kids for years.”

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