Jen and Kelly Bowman were two of the most dominant volleyball players in Osseo High School’s history. Their athleticism, brilliant all-around skills and competitive spirits led Osseo to many years of dominance and success in volleyball. They were also standout basketball players who led Osseo to success on the court. For their achievements, the Bowman sisters have been named to the Osseo High’s 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame.
They will join baseball coaches Keith Lorenson and Ken Thompson, football and track star Dennis Heinen, track and basketball standout Julian Morris and wrestling great Tom Tripp at an induction ceremony at halftime of the Orioles’ home football game against Totino Grace Oct. 5.
Bowman attended Osseo High from 1997-2000 and was a standout in volleyball and basketball. In volleyball, she was a four-time letter-winner and captain of the 1999 team. Bowman was named all conference four times and was second team all metro and all state in 1998, and first team all metro and all state in 1999. She finished her career with 932 kills, 1282 assists, and 268 aces, and went on to play at Northern Illinois University where she was named MAC player of the year as a sophomore and was first team all conference, finishing fourth in the nation in assists. Bowman transferred to the University of Minnesota and played with Kelly on the Gopher team that took second in the NCAA Tournament in 2004.
“I am truly humbled and honored for being selected for the OHS Hall of Fame, and I am thrilled to be entering the Hall of Fame with my sister, Kelly,” Jen said. “There couldn’t be anyone more deserving of this honor than her. There are so many people who made my career in volleyball and basketball possible, including my parents, family, coaches, and friends. I am truly blessed to have amazing people in my life and without their continued love and support, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I thank them from the bottom of my heart and want to share this honor with them.”
There are so many great memories for Jen at OHS from volleyball and basketball, but there are a couple that stand out.
“I will never forget running the 400 out on the track each year for volleyball tryouts,” she recalled. “Each year, I had to beat my sister’s time and have one of the fastest times on the team. I think she beat me once by a second or two. It was how we started the season every year, and marked the beginning of something that I loved doing (playing volleyball). It was also the chance for us, myself and Kelly, to show our extremely competitive sides and our will to be the best.”
Another memory that stands out for Jen was when the Orioles were getting ready for their region final against Armstrong in her senior year (1999).
“Dave Thorpe, Osseo’s beloved basketball coach and mentor, organized a way to get two full bus loads of student fans to come to the championship match,” Jen recalled. “We started our warm-ups in a relatively empty gym, and then the buses showed up and the fans piled in, and I remember this amazing feeling of incredible support and huge rush of adrenaline having so many friends and peers to cheer us on. That was the largest crowd we had to watch one of our matches in all the years I played volleyball at Osseo.”
On top of it all, Jen felt extremely fortunate to play volleyball with sister Kelly at Osseo and then again at the University of Minnesota.
“Having those experiences with her is something I will always treasure,” she said.
After college, Jen continued playing volleyball whenever she got the chance. She competed in six Beach Volleyball events and played in hundreds of adult volleyball indoor, sand, and grass tournaments. She was an USAV Adult Open National Champion with Kelly during USAV National Championships in 2005. She was also inducted into the Waupaca Boatride Hall of Fame (the largest grass volleyball tournament in the nation) in 2016. She won the women’s open grass championship seven years in a row, and the women’s open sand championship three years in a row.
Jen also started her coaching career while playing volleyball. She was the volleyball volunteer assistant coach at the U of M in 2005, an assistant coach at St. Thomas University, and Augsburg University and coached high school volleyball at New Life Academy and Bloomington Kennedy. She coached at M1, Armour VBC, Blazers VBC, Vital Volleyball Club, and now with CORE Volleyball Club.
Bowman is currently in her fourth season as the head women’s volleyball coach at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount.
“Coaching is my passion, and I feel so fortunate to call it my career,” she said.
Jen lives in Bloomington with partner, Kevin, and their 3-year-old son, Braden.
Since she lives in the Twin Cities, Bowman has been able to follow the Osseo volleyball team.
“It is amazing how far the program has advanced since I played,” she said. “I also check for players to recruit to my college program.”
Kelly Bowman Stuntz
Kelly attended Osseo High from 2000-2003, but was involved with Osseo athletics for much longer. During her time as an athlete, she was a six-time letter-winner and three-time captain in volleyball and led Osseo to the state tournament in 2002. Kelly was five-time all conference and all region, twice the metro player of the year and Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year. She finished her career with 2,094 kills, 1,590 assists and 377 aces and was the Athena Award winner in 2003.
In basketball, she was a three-time letter-winner and captain of the 2003 team that went to the state tournament.
Looking back at her time at OSH, Kelly said having the opportunity to play with sister Jen was the best.
“That was so unbelievably special,” Kelly said. “We were always on the same page and didn’t really have to verbally communicate to know what the other was thinking. I would also have to say that the trip to the volleyball State Tournament in 2002 was a very fond memory. That was a special team.”
After high school, Kelly fulfilled her life-long dream of playing for the Gophers. She was a ball girl at the U and that’s the only school she wanted to play for and she signed as sophomore.
Kelly found huge successes at the U, where she would twice be named first team all Big Ten, and once a first team All American. She led Minnesota to its first ever Final 4 in 2003 and again in 2004, with Jen as a teammate. In the 2004 Final 4, the Gophers defeated defending champion USC in the semifinal and advanced to the national championship game before falling to Stanford. For her brilliant season, Bowman was named first-team All American.
After college Kelly trained professionally with the US National Team in Colorado Springs. Following that she started working for NCSA -Next College Student Athlete, a company based out of Chicago she currently still works for from her home in Eden Prairie. She and husband Ryan have two girls — Blake, 4, and Tyler, 2.
“We are definitely a volleyball family,” she said. “My job is helping high school volleyball student-athletes through all aspects of the recruiting process. My husband owns and runs Vital Volleyball Club out of Eden Prairie as well. Our girls definitely get their fair share of volleyball reps.”
Being in the metro area, Kelly has been able to follow OSH sports.
“It’s great to be able to hear updates here and there,” she said. “My parents also still live in Maple Grove so getting updates from them is always fun. We’ve made it out to a few Osseo volleyball games since moving back to Minnesota as well.”
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