Bill Bowerman Net Worth

May 6, 2023
2 mins read

William Jay Bowerman was born on 19 February 1911, in Portland, Oregon, USA. He was a track and field coach, but probably best known for being the co-founder of sportswear company Nike, Inc. Over the course of his career he trained multiple champions, record holders, and Olympians. All of his efforts helped put his net worth to where it was prior to his passing in 1999.

How rich was Bill Bowerman? As of mid-2016, sources estimate a net worth that was at $400 million, earned through his success in the athletic industry and business. He coached for 24 years at the University of Oregon, and only had one losing season during his tenure. He also trained 22 NCAA champions, 31 Olympic Athletes, and 12 American record-holders. All of these helped ensure the position of his wealth.

Bill Bowerman Net Worth $400 Million

Bill was born into a political family, having been the son of Governor Jay Bowerman. After his parents’ divorce, the family moved to Fossil, Oregon, where he attended high school at Medford and played for the school’s football team during his last two years. After matriculating, he attended the University of Oregon from 1929, studying journalism and playing football. After graduation, he became a teacher and football coach at Franklin High School. A year after, he moved back to Medford to teach and coach there. His net worth was established.

Having been part of the Reserve Officer Training Corps(ROTC) and Army Reserve, Bowerman became a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He served a year in Fort Lawton before becoming a part of the 86th Mountain Infantry Regiment. He organized the supplies for the troops and maintained the mules that carried their supplies. The troop would go to Italy and there he was eventually promoted to the rank of Major. One of his most notable achievements is a stand-down negotiation of German troops in the Brenner Pass a few days before the surrender of Germany. He was awarded four Bronze Stars and a Silver Star for his service, and was honourably discharged in 1945.

Bill then returned to Medford High School, and then moved to Eugene, Oregon, where he would become the track coach at the University of Oregon. He created the group known as the “Track Men of Oregon” who would go on and win 24 NCAA titles and four NCAA team crowns. The team he created boasted Olympians, All-Americans, and champions of all kinds, and he also coached record-breaking teams throughout his career, which continued until 1972, when he focused on fundraising for the Hayward Field grandstands which needed much attention. He also tried his hand at entering a political career but failed. He eventually retired from his position as head coach during 1973. Prior to his retirement, he was also the coach of the 1972 US Munich Olympic Track and Field team and was responsible for saving a few athletes during the Munich Massacre.

Bowerman was also responsible for promoting jogging for fitness, especially for much older people. He organized a club and introduced the concept in the United States, writing books and guides about the activity. It’s said that he helped inspire the popularity of jogging during the 1970s.

Around the 1960s, he also created an athletic footwear company initially named Blue Ribbon Sports with Phil Knight. The company would later become Nike, Inc, and Bill was responsible for most of the first designs of the company. They created the Nike Cortez in 1968, which became one of the most best-selling and iconic shoes of the company. The idea came from how Bowerman insisted on having custom-made shoes for his athletes, and his passion for that eventually became a successful business.

For his personal life, Bowerman married Barbara Young in 1936 and they had three children. They met while both of them were attending Medford High School. Bill passed away in his sleep during Christmas Eve in 1999.

Daniel Wanburg

As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications.

At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.

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