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Bethel enjoys a coaching connection to groundbreaking Kansan

January 29th, 2020

Floyd Sowers on the sidelines in Thresher Gym with one of his Bethel women's teams

Floyd Sowers coached women's basketball at Bethel 1989-99 – and now his daughter Katie is the first female coach to go to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl LIV, Feb. 2 in Miami, pits the San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs but, perhaps surprisingly, it’s not the Chiefs that are drawing the extra attention.

Niners offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers is making history as the first female and openly LGBTQ coach to go to the Super Bowl.

Sowers was born and raised in Hesston. Her dad (he and Katie’s mom, Bonnie, now live in Overland Park) posted a record of 106 wins in his decade of coaching the Threshers, the second-best in program history.

In an interview for Kansas City’s public radio station KCUR, Sowers told freelance reporter Greg Echlin her dad’s work as a coach had an impact on her.

“I knew I wanted to be a teacher, a coach or a counselor. I kinda got all three.”

A Microsoft® Super Bowl ad, “Be the One/Katie Sowers,” includes a photo of Floyd Sowers with one of his Bethel teams in Thresher Gym, ca. 1994-97.

“If it wasn’t for my parents,” Katie Sowers told the Kansas City Star, “I don’t think I’d even be close to where I am.”

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel is the highest ranked Kansas private college, at #12, in Washington Monthly, Top 200 Bachelor’s Colleges; ranks at #23 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest; is’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; stands at #57 among 829 U.S. colleges and universities listed by lendEDU as “Best for Financial Aid”; has the #10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas according to; and earned its second-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star gold award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2019-20. For more information, see  –Melanie Zuercher for Bethel College

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.