Ottawa University tabbed one of the nation’s top women’s flag and tackle football players to lead its women’s flag football program.
Ottawa hired Liz Sowers as the inaugural head women’s flag football coach. Ottawa added women’s flag football as its 32nd varsity sport last week.
“We are very fortunate to have found the ideal coach to launch and lead our flag football program here at OU,” Arabie Conner, OU director of athletics, said. “Coach Sowers is a highly skilled player having played the game at the highest level, including representing our country. Not only is she a competitive and multi-talented athlete, but her passion for the game of flag football, specifically, and to supporting and growing opportunities for young women, is truly unique and inspiring.”
Sowers played for the West Michigan Mayhem, the Kansas City Titans and the Kansas City Tribe. Sowers currently plays quarterback for the Kansas City Glory in the WNFC.
She was a first team All-American receiver for the Titans from 2010 to 2013 and 2015 to 2017. As a member of the Tribe, Sowers led the nation (more than 70 teams) with 987 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns.
In 2016, Sowers played for Team USA’s Women’s Flag Football team. She was also a member of the Sevens Rugby team in 2014, and the Women’s Tackle Football team in 2013 and 2017. The USA Women’s Tackle Football Team earned a gold medal in the IFAF World Championships.
“The hiring of Liz is a great step forward for the sport of women's flag football,” said Chris Lankford, USA Women’s Flag Football National Team coach. “Liz is a very accomplished player as she has won gold medals for Team USA in contact football and flag as well. She will bring a professional and passionate approach for the younger players, which will only grow the sport even more. She will prove to be a great ambassador for the sport and Ottawa University moving forward as she is a class act.”
Sowers was a selected participant at the NFL’s Women’s Careers in Football Forum in Orlando, Fla., in January 2018. She oversaw team operations and was a player liaison for the women’s soccer club, FC Kansas City, in 2017. From March 2015 to May 2016, Sowers was a Heads-Up Football Assistant Master Trainer for USA Football.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to provide leadership to this new athletic program at Ottawa University,” Sowers said. “Flag football is one of my passions and I am excited that young women at OU will now have an opportunity to compete in this sport on the collegiate level. I look forward to my role of coaching and mentoring team members both on and off the field. I have the highest respect for OU and its mission, and I welcome the challenge of integrating this new program into the university’s strategic plan for the future.”
While working for USA Football, Sowers helped conduct player safety coach clinics, assisted in NFL Play60 camps during the 2015 and 2016 drafts in Chicago, helped with numerous Chiefs camps and clinics, and the women’s mini-camp and girl scouts takeover camps.
Sowers earned a Master of Arts degree in higher education with an emphasis in sports administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in May 2013. She was a graduate assistant with the Kansas City women’s basketball program, where she handled film exchange and equipment, while also serving as the team’s graphic designer for marketing and recruiting purposes.
Sowers played four years of college basketball, spending her first two seasons at Hesston College in Hesston. She earned an associates degree in liberal arts in May 2006, and was named a NJCAA All-American.
Sowers set an HC school record for points in a single game (45), points in a season (606) and points in a career (1,100). She played her final two years at NCAA Division I Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. Sowers helped the Golden Grizzlies to a pair of league championships. She also excelled in the classroom and was named Summit League Academic All-Conference in 2008.
“As a university, when we made the decision to jump into the sport as the opportunity presented itself, we set out to do it the right way,” Conner said. “With a new field in progress and now an experienced coach leading the way, we are aiming to build Braves women’s flag football into a flagship program known throughout the region and country.”