Madras High coach arrested on sex abuse charges

Melissa Bowerman, relative of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, accused of inappropriate relationship with student-athlete

By Tyler Leeds / The Bulletin

The head coach of the Madras High School track and field team was arrested Monday by Oregon State Police following an investigation into a relationship she allegedly had with a 17-year-old male student-athlete.

Melissa Bowerman, 43, a daughter-in-law of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, has been arrested on suspicion of second-degree sexual abuse, luring a minor, second-degree online sexual corruption of a child and contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor. She had been coaching at Madras High School for two years.

Jefferson County School District Superintendent Rick Molitor was not available for comment.

Bowerman, who lives in Fossil, was dismissed from a volunteer coaching post with the Condon/Wheeler track team in Eastern Oregon in 2012 after she escorted a student to prom, according to The Oregonian. No charges followed that incident.

According to a press release, OSP received a tip that Bowerman was inappropriately involved with a juvenile. An investigation led by OSP and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office discovered evidence that led to Monday’s arrest. OSP stated there may be other victims.

This is the second time a Madras coach has been accused of sexually abusing a student within 12 months. In November, Michael Osborne, a basketball and soccer coach was arrested following accusations of sexually abusing a female student. Osborne pleaded not guilty to those charges and is currently in the Jefferson County jail.

— Reporter: 541-633-2160, tleeds@bendbulletin.com