A former quarterback and defensive back at the University of Texas, Lowry earned All-Southwest Conference honors before jumping into the coaching ranks. Lowry began his coaching career at Virginia Tech in 1974 before moving to the University of Wyoming in 1975. He spent 1976 with the Dallas Cowboys in their scouting department before returning to the University of Texas (1977–81) for five seasons as defensive backs coach.
Lowry spent nine seasons with the Cowboys (1982–90). He originally joined the Cowboys in 1982 as their special teams coach before shifting to receivers (1988–90). In 1991, he served as the special teams/tight ends coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and as special teams coach for the San Francisco 49ers from 1992-95. In San Francisco, Lowry and the Niners made three NFC Championship game appearances (1992,1993,1994) and captured a Super Bowl Championship (XXIX).
Lowry is perhaps best known for masterminding the "miracle" play in what is now known as the Music City Miracle. It took place in a Wild Card game of the NFL Playoffs involving the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills on January 8, 2000. Steve Christie, the Bills' kicker, had just kicked a 41-yard field goal to put Buffalo up 16-15 with only sixteen seconds remaining in the game. On the ensuing kickoff, Christie kicked off, and Titans player Lorenzo Neal received. Neal handed the ball off to Titans tight end Frank Wycheck, who then lateraled the ball across the whole field to another Titans player, Kevin Dyson, who then ran down the sidelines for a 75-yard touchdown.
Lowry is a native of Miami, Oklahoma, and currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife, Donna. The couple has two daughters, Marta (26) and Lindsay (22). Alan Lowry grew up in Irving, Texas. Graduated from Irving High School in 1969 where he was the QB of the Irving Tigers.