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Celebration of life for former Mooney coach set for this weekend

Mike Dowling, who also worked as a history teacher, died in April at age 70.
by: Ryan Kohn Sports Reporter

For 30 years, Mike Dowling gave students and athletes at Cardinal Mooney High lessons on life and how to live it. 

This weekend, the Cardinal Mooney community will have a final chance to say thank you, and goodbye. 

Dowling died on April 26 at age 70 in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where he lived with his family. A celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Oct 26 at the Cardinal Mooney Music Hall. Dowling's family will be in attendance. Rep. Vern Buchanan will speak at the event, as will four Mooney graduates: Jason Bailey (1993),  Josh Smithers (1995), Bobby Rosenberg (2000) and Matt Buchanan (2003). 

All four graduates played for Dowling. Dowling was hired in 1977 as the team's defensive coordinator and took over as coach in 1979. He won 128 games over the next 28 seasons, including four 10-0 seasons, six district titles and one regional title. Dowling also coached junior varsity boys basketball, softball, girls volleyball and boys weightlifting at Mooney and taught history. Dowling was known for weaving sports stories into his history lessons. He retired in 2007. 

Dowling had battled Alzheimer's disease for several years before his death. His brain and spinal cord will be donated to Boston University and the Concussion Legacy Foundation in hopes of finding a cure for the disease. 

For information on the celebration of life, contact the school at 371-4917 or visit the event's Facebook page

I’m the sports reporter for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. I was born and raised in Olney, MD. My biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. My strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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