Dreams of a state title

With two brothers, father as coach, KC has chance to win it all

Special to the Times | Ray Landry
Kirtland’s Bryson Dowdy (44) and his father, coach Brian Dowdy, return to the court after halftime of a Dec. 9 game.


When they were younger, Bryson and Brock Dowdy used to play one-on-one basketball and dreamed of one day bringing home a state title with their father as their coach.

Only two years apart, the two grew up in a competitive home, and were often coached by their father in childhood leagues, and as kids something like winning a state title together could only be a dream.

But now, it’s a possible reality.

“Ever since me and Bryson would just play one-on-one outside, we dreamed about playing in the NBA,” Brock Dowdy said. “We dreamed about playing in the state championship, playing for that title, now it’s like it’s becoming a reality.”

Bryson is a senior shooting guard for the Kirtland Central boys’ basketball team and Brock Dowdy is a budding sophomore point guard for the team. Their father, Brian Dowdy, is the head coach.

This season they found themselves in a unique situation where they all have important roles on the team.

Brian started coaching when Bryson, his oldest of five children (two boys and three girls), got involved in sports.

“My father was a high school coach in Arizona, so I’ve kind of been around it,” Brian said. “And when I starting signing them up (his kids), they always needed coaches.”

Brian returned home to Kirtland with his family and was an assistant boys basketball coach from 2009 to 2012.

From there he moved to Silver City, New Mexico, and just before the 2014-15 season he got a call.

“I decided I liked coaching high school,” Brian said. “A friend of mind told me there was an opening for the head boys’ basketball coach but I didn’t think I had enough experience.”

He applied, he got the job, and he took it.

But his lack of experience became the least of Brian Dowdy’s worries.

He realized issues might arise should his son make the varsity team.

Bryson tried out as a freshman. When it was time to decide, the assistant coaches unanimously picked Bryson to play for the varsity, putting Brian in a tough spot.

“They told me he’s good enough, and you can’t cheat him,” Brian said. “I had to be as fair to him as any other player. It was nerve-wracking being a brand new coach.”

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Categories: Basketball

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at sunnie@navajotimes.com or via cell at (505) 686-0769.