Dowling Catholic High School

Dowling Catholic High School
Dowling Catholic High School
Veritas ∙ Fides ∙ Sapientia
Truth ∙ Faith ∙ Wisdom
1400 Buffalo Road
West Des Moines, Iowa, (Polk County), 50265
 United States
Coordinates 41°35′49″N 93°43′23″W / 41.596906°N 93.723181°W / 41.596906; -93.723181Coordinates: 41°35′49″N 93°43′23″W / 41.596906°N 93.723181°W / 41.596906; -93.723181
Type Private, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1972
School code 161190
President Jerry Deegan
Principal Jim Dowdle
Asst. Principal Dave Marcouiller
Chaplain Father Zach Kautzky
Chief custodian Robert Sparks
Faculty 75
Grades 912
Enrollment 1,250  (2008)
Average class size 300
Student to teacher ratio 15:1
Color(s) Maroon and White         
Fight song Hail, hail to Dowling High School. Hail, to the conquering heroes. Hail, hail to Dowling High the leaders of the rest. Rah, rah, rah! Hail, to the victors valiant. Hail, to the brave in battle. Hail, hail to Dowling High the champions and the best. DCHS!
Nickname Maroons
Rival West Des Moines Valley
Tuition $5,576 (parishoner)
$7,796 (non-parishoner)
Dean of Students Grant Bousum
Admissions Director Katie Petersen
Athletic Director Tom Wilson

Dowling Catholic High School is a Catholic secondary school in West Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Des Moines.



In 1972, it was created by the merger of St. Joseph Academy for girls (established in 1885)[1] and Dowling High School for boys (established in 1918 as the Des Moines College boarding school for boys).[2] Approximately 1,224 students currently attend Dowling Catholic High School.


During the 2003-04 school year, Dowling Catholic High School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education,[3] the highest award an American school can receive.[4][5]


Total tuition cost for 2007-2008 are $7,910. Tuition for students belonging to a Catholic Parish is $5,142.[citation needed]

Extracurricular activities


Dowling Catholic baseball is coached by Tim O'Neill. The Maroons hold the record for most team home runs during a championship game with 5 in 2001.[6]

Baseball State Championships[7]
Year Record Opponent Score
1988 39-3 Ames 9-8
1989 38-5 Fort Dodge 8-5
1999 33-13 Ankeny 6-1
2001 42-3 Marshaltown 13-2
2011 36-7 Mason City 6-1

Dowling has made it to state in baseball 13 times

Boy's basketball

State Boys Basketball Championship Appearances[citation needed]
Year Result Score Opponent
1957 Champion 69-66 Waterloo, West
1979 Champion 60-57 Davenport Central
1981 Runner-up 73-68 Dubuque Wahlert
1983 Runner-up 76-69 Marion Linn-Mar

Dowling has made it to the Iowa boys basketball state tournament nine times. Bobby Hansen who later played at the University of Iowa and nine years in the NBA, his last with the 1992 World Champion Chicago Bulls, was on the 1979 state championship team.

Cross country


The girls Cross Country coach is Fr. Jim Kirby.

State Cross Country Team Championships[citation needed]
Year Finishes Score
1974 4-9-10-16 39
1985 3-8-15-36 62
  • 2011 State Champion
  • 2010 State Champion
  • 2009 State Champion
  • 2008 State Champion
  • 2007 State Champions
  • 2006 Girls State Runner-Up
  • 2007 Girls Heartland Regional Champions
  • 2007 Girls 14th Place Nike Team Nationals


The boy's team is coached by athletic trainer Tim Ives, owner of the Body Project. As of the beginning of the 2011 season, the Dowling's boys cross country team is ranked first among division 4A schools in Iowa.[8] Dowling has 11 Top 8 Finishes in Boys Cross Country.

2011 State Champions

•2010 State Runners-Up

•2000 Individual Champion Ben Glaser (15:22)


Dowling Catholic is coached by Tom Wilson. Home games are played at the 8,000 seat Valley Stadium in West Des Moines or at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. The Maroons have a winning percentage (68.1%) and an all-time 284-109 win-loss record including a 37-30 W-L record in the playoffs. Their 30 playoff appearances is #2 in any classification. Dowling has also tied Valley in the number of consecutive trips going to playoffs. Dowling made the playoffs 17 years in a row beginning in 1985 and ending in 2002 when Dowling missed the playoffs. Dowling Catholic won 36 consecutive games in the 1967 through 1971 graduating class seasons. Dowling won 64 consecutive Metro conference games, a streak lasting from 1968 to 1977. In addition to the 64 metro games Dowling also won 57 consecutive conference games lasting from 1993 to 2002. West Des Moines Valley is Dowling's rival. It began in 1968 when the schools joined the Des Moines Metro Conference. Dowling has 23 or higher quarterfinal finishes. Albert Smith has the school receiving record with 1,044 receiving yards and 15 Touchdowns in 1990. Rich Lowery has the school passing record with 2,105 passing yards in 1991. Grant Mayfield has the school rushing record with 2,049 yards in 2008 and 31 touchdowns.

State 4-A Football Championship Appearances[citation needed]
Year Result Score Opponent
1972 Runner-up (10-1) 6-0 Cedar Rapids Jefferson (11-0)
1973 Runner-up (10-1) 37-32 Davenport Central (10-1)
1974 Runner-up (9-2) 14-0 Davenport West (11-0)
1976 Runner-up (9-2) 15-12 Davenport Central (12-0)
1987 Runner-up (10-2) 7-6 Bettendorf (12-0)
1995 Runner-up (11-2) 42-0 Iowa City West (13-0)
1998 Runner-up (11-2) 38-10 Iowa City West (13-0)
2000 Champion (13-0) 35-28 Bettendorf (11-2)
2001 Champion (13-0) 35-15 Iowa City High (12-1)
2010 Champion (14-0) 38-31(OT) Iowa City High (13-1)

Marching band

Band directors Steve Holland and Nick Hoover have led the Dowling Catholic Marching Band to many high placements in band competitions. At the Eden Prairie: Prairie Colors tournament on October 11, 2008 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Dowling received a first place overall, best drumline, and best winds in the class 2-A competition.

2008 Marching Competition Awards and Placement
Location and Date Awards
Iowa City High- October 4, 2008 Best Drumline, Best Drum Majors, 2nd place
Cedar Rapids Jefferson- October 4, 2008 Best Drumline, 3rd place
Eden Prairie, Minnesota- October 11, 2008 Best Drumline, Best Winds, 1st place
Ankeny- October 18, 2008 Best Drumline, 5th place


Head coach Mark Crouch has led the Boys' swimming team to championships for four years; 2000-2003. Dowling has 15 Top 8 Finishes in Boys Swimming. Head coach Dan Lake and J.V. coach Josh Otis coach girls J.V. and Varsity swimming. New Head Coach Nate Zittergruen lead the boys to become conference and district champions in 2010 and ended up second at the state meet.


Boys Tennis State Championships
Year Type
1992 Team
1999 Single
2000 Single
2001 Doubles
2001 Team
2011 Single (Elliot Baker)

Dowling has made it to the state team tournament in tennis 7 times


Dowling current coach is Jon Garvin, having started at Dowling Catholic in the 2007-2008 year. Former coach Bob Darrah (340-17-2) has the state top percentage in dual meets (of those with more than 300 meets) with a .949 average.[citation needed] Dowling holds the record for most dual meet wins in a row with 138 won between Jan. 25, 1986-Jan. 4, 1992.[citation needed]

Dowling has won State Dual Wrestling Championships in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1992.

State Wrestling Team Championships
Year Team Score
1975 46.5
1978 94.5
1984 115
1988 124.5
1990 109.5
1991 91

Dowling has 19 Top 8 or higher finishes at the state meet.

Speech and debate

In the 2010-2011 debate season, the speech and debate team competed in an IHSSA dual-state championship in policy debate (A close-out round between the team of Joseph Nelson and Simon Sheaff and the team of Shannon McCarthy and Sean Duff)

The debate team is historically the most successful team of the school, with one team national championship (2003), one individual national championship (Spencer McCurnnin, Humorous interpretation), 2 individual national finalists (Brian Garfield, twice)

The team is coached by: Head Coach Tim Sheaff, Assistant Coach Kaytee Stearns, Speech Coach Alex Baranowsky, Policy Debate Coach Justin Hingtgen, and Assistant Coach Spencer Waugh

Famous alumni


  1. ^ Sioux Valley News, Aug 5, 1885, page 2
  2. ^ Des Moines Daily News, Sept 7, 1918;page 1
  3. ^ U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 2003 through 2006 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
  4. ^ CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department, Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
  5. ^ Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test; The Washington Post. September 29, 2005 "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
  6. ^ STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME RECORDS- Baseball, Iowa High School Athletic Association. Accessed February 18, 2008.
  7. ^ SUMMER STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS - Baseball, Iowa High School Athletic Association. Accessed February 18, 2008.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Jerry "Boomer" Groom, College Football Hall of Fame Accessed February 19, 2008.
  10. ^ Peterson, Randy Bobby Hansen, Des Moines, 1999, Des Moines Register, July 25, 1999. Accessed February 19, 2008. "Graduated from West Des Moines Dowling High School in 1979, graduated University of Iowa in 1983."
  11. ^ Miller, Judith. "Tom Harkin's Old-Time Religion", The New York Times, February 9, 1992. Accessed November 6, 2007. "After his mother died, Harkin, an altar boy, went to Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines and won a Navy R.O.T.C. scholarship to college."

Scott Pose 1985 Major League Baseball Player Florida Marlins, New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals

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