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University of Missouri

Knight Lights

Mizzou alumnus oversees the marketing at a major UCF sports venue.

UCF Knights

In 2000, Julian Bowman broke into Division I football as a walk‐on fullback for the late Larry Smith’s Tigers.

A few years later, he caught his big break — a prison break — as a student photographer at KOMU. Bowman, BJ ’04, and fellow reporter Judy Chiu, BJ ’04, were covering a murder and escape attempt at Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City when assignment editor Jen Reeves asked Chiu to return to the studio early.

[Chiu] said, ‘I’ve got good news and bad news,’ ” Bowman says. “ ‘The bad news is, I’m about to leave you. The good news is, you’re going live at 10.’ [Reeves] threw me straight into the fire.”

Julian Bowman

Julian Bowman, a walk‐on fullback for Mizzou in 2000, is now the director of marketing at CFE Arena in Orlando, home of the University of Central Florida basketball Knights.

Bowman withstood the baptismal flames, eventually earning a master’s degree in sport and entertainment management at the University of South Carolina in his hometown of Columbia. Now he is the director of marketing at CFE Arena in Orlando, home court for the University of Central Florida men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The UCF football squad travels 1,115 miles to take on Mizzou at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, at Memorial Stadium on the SEC ESPN Network. By then, Bowman might have caught his breath from the Sept. 11 Fitz and the Tantrums show at his place of employment.

Technically speaking, I don’t work for UCF,” Bowman says. “But we have the same goals when it comes to putting butts in seats.”

On its derriere‐drawing docket, CFE Arena also boasts UCF volleyball games, family shows such as Sesame Street Live, and Light Up UCF, an outdoor holiday event designed to bring the season — including machine‐made snow — to the Sunshine State.

Julian Bowman UCF

Bowman, second from left, poses with CFE Arena colleagues and guitar‐wielding country star Darius Rucker, who performed at the venue April 24, 2014.

Despite Bowman’s southern roots and Floridian employer, his loyalty lies with the Show‐Me State. Perhaps it was the one season in pads (Bowman hung up the cleats in 2001 to focus on school), but he continues to bleed black and gold.

I’m Mizzou through and through,” Bowman says. “I get in arguments with all my South Carolina friends. They were all mad at me last year, but I didn’t care. I was [at the SEC Championship] in Atlanta.”