Vic Rowen

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Vic Rowen
Sport(s) Football, basketball
Biographical details
Born (1919-07-24)July 24, 1919
Brooklyn, New York
Died January 14, 2013(2013-01-14) (aged 93)
Chico, California
Playing career
1940s Long Island University
Position(s) Tight end
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1946–1948 Thomas Jefferson HS (NY)
1951–1953 Defiance
1954–1960 San Francisco State (assistant)
1961–1989 San Francisco State
1957–1958 San Francisco State
Head coaching record
Overall 132–173–10 (college football)
9–13 (basketball)

Victor Rowen (July 24, 1919 – January 14, 2013) was a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Defiance College from 1951 to 1953 and at San Francisco State University from 1961 to 1989, compiling a career college football record of 132–173–10. His tenure of 28 years as head coach San Francisco State spanned over half of the length of time college football was played at the school. Rowen was also the head basketball coach at San Francisco State for a season in 1957–58, tallying a mark of 9–13.

Early years[edit]

Born Brooklyn, New York, Rowen played college football at Long Island University, and later went on to earn a doctorate in physical education from Columbia University. Rowen got his start as a college coach at Ohio's Defiance College in 1951. He joined San Francisco State as an assistant coach in 1954 under Joe Verducci, until becoming head coach in 1961.[1]

San Francisco State[edit]

In Rowen's early years, San Francisco State was a west-coast small college football powerhouse, winning eight Far Western Conference titles before 1967. This early success lead his team to attract a great deal of football talent to the university and San Francisco State was well known for its football during this time. All of that changed during the student strike of 1968, which crippled football at SFSU.

San Francisco State did not have a winning season between 1973 and when the program was cancelled in 1995. While noted for producing outstanding players and coaches who would go on to win with other programs, San Francisco State football under Rowen’s later years was not as successful as other Division II college football teams.

Rowen was also the president of the American Football Coaches Association in 1986.

Coaching tree[edit]

Rowen has had two of his assistant coaches go on to lead teams as head coach in Super Bowls: Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles and Mike Holmgren with both the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks. Holmgren was a teacher of American history at Oak Grove High School in San Jose in 1981 when Rowen offered him his first collegiate coaching position. Gil Haskell, now offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, also was an assistant coach to Rowen. Bob Toledo, now head coach at Tulane University, played quarterback at San Francisco State under Rowen. Floyd Peters, former defensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders, was a defensive lineman under Rowen.


Rowen's son, Keith, has coached in the NFL with various teams for over 25 years.


Rowen died January 14, 2013 aged 93.[2]


  1. ^ Sullivan, Pat (10 June 2001). "WHERE ARE THEY NOW? / Vic Rowen / A dedicated Gator / Longtime coach also served as a father figure". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Football coach Vic Rowen dies at 93". 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2013-01-19.