Melissa Bowerman, high school track coach and daughter-in-law of Nike founder Bill Bowerman, is again facing allegations of improper relations with a student. But this time the charges are serious and Bowerman is behind bars.
On Monday, Bowerman was arrested at her home in Fossil, Ore., after a tip in early July suggested she was having an inappropriate relationship with a juvenile male. Through an investigation by the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office, the victim was identified as a 17-year-old member of the Madras High School track and field team, where she has coached for the last two years since her last scandal with a student. The Oregon State Police say the charges stem from contact since May.
Madras was Bowerman's second chance after she was dismissed from a coaching position in 2012. Then in Condon, Ore., she drew national attention when she was fired after attending high school prom with a student. Nothing happened, she said. It was just ping pong, discussion about classwork, and a few slow dances. But the district superintendent discovered "some potential details" during the subsequent investigation, and said, "There is way more to that story than just a date to the prom."
Husband Jon, the son of Bill Bowerman who also coached the program, was irate, and threatened to resign himself. "It's 'you're guilty until proven innocent' and I didn't spend six years in the Marines defending 'guilty until proven innocent,'" he told the Oregonian. "We don't want to fight, but if that's the attitude, we will fight."
Jon, now 75, has not yet released a statement on the current allegations.
Melissa Bowerman was carted an hour and a half from her home in Fossil to rot in the Madras jail. Her charges include:
- Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree (class C felony)
- Luring a Minor (class C felony)
- Online Sexual Corruption of a Child in the Second Degree (class C felony)
- Contributing to the Sexual Delinquency of a Minor (class A misdemeanor)
Police say they are concerned there may be other victims and are asking for tips. Of course, if you know anything about it, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.