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Graceland University Mourns the Passing of Tom Nowlin


Administration and Staff, Alumni, Faculty

August 24, 2015

Graceland University Mourns the Passing of Tom Nowlin

Graceland University mourns the passing of a man many knew simply as “Digga.” Tom Nowlin, longtime teacher, coach and friend of Graceland University, passed away peacefully in his home on Saturday, Aug. 22.

Nowlin coached five sports in more than 41 years while working at Graceland University. He was the first wrestling coach at Graceland and was the head coach of baseball, tennis and track while serving as an assistant football coach throughout his tenure with the Yellowjackets. His men’s track team won numerous Heart of America Athletic Conference championships.

Coach Nowlin was committed to the idea at Graceland that emphasizes the importance of classroom performance before athletics. He influenced student-athletes to become a total person both on and off the competition field. Dr. Nowlin was decorated with higher education degrees, including an EdD from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Science from Indiana University, a Bachelor of Science from Pepperdine College, and an associate degree from Ventura Junior College.

As a teacher, a coach and a longtime pillar of the Graceland community, Nowlin touched the lives of so many who came to “the Hill” to continue to pursue their passion. He had a heart to match his beaming voice and will always hold a place in ours.

The family is conducting a private burial service this week but visitors to Homecoming can attend a public memorial service on Homecoming 2015 Friday.

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