Ole Miss Loses Former Basketball Player Cecil Dowell

May 23, 2006

OXFORD, Miss. - Funeral arrangements have been set for former Ole Miss basketball player Cecil Dowell, who lost his life Saturday night in a tragic car accident near Como, Miss. Visitation will be Thursday at 6 p.m. at Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home in Millington, Tenn., and funeral services will be held Friday at noon at Oak Spring Baptist Church in Arlington, Tenn.

"Cecil was a hard worker and the ultimate team player," said Derek Horne, Ole Miss Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs and a former teammate of Dowell. "He was a mentor to his teammates, a fierce competitor and a leader. Cecil was a loyal supporter of the Ole Miss basketball program and the University. He was a caring and compassionate person, and his presence will truly be missed."

A four-year letterwinner for the Rebels (1980-81; 1983-84), Dowell helped Ole Miss to its only SEC Tournament title as a sophomore in 1981, scoring a career-high 22 points in the second-round win over Tennessee. The 6-foot guard established a then-tourney record for free throws made against the Volunteers, hitting 16-of-18 from the stripe. He also dropped in 20 points against both Florida and LSU that season and was named the team's Most Improved Player.


After missing the 1981-82 campaign with a knee injury, Dowell returned to the Rebel lineup to play in every game his final two years and top the team in assists each season. As a junior, he ranked seventh in the SEC in both assists per game (4.1) and free throw accuracy (77.2 percent) and helped direct Ole Miss to the third round of the 1983 NIT - Dowell's third postseason trip as a Rebel.

A 1985 Ole Miss graduate with a bachelor's degree in health, physical education, recreation and dance, Dowell followed the same career path as both his parents, who have over 30 years of basketball coaching experience.

From 1985-2002, Dowell served as an assistant coach at various high schools in the Memphis area, including Woodale, Fairley and Kirby. The highlight of his career came during his time as head coach of Millington Central High School when his father Cecil, Sr. served as his assistant. Dowell, who held a master's degree in administrative supervision, had worked this past season as an assistant coach at Mississippi Valley State.

An Arlington, Tenn. native, Dowell spent his prep playing days at Bolton High School where he was an all-state player, averaging over 20 points per game as a senior. He led Bolton to the Class A state title in his junior and senior seasons and earned tournament MVP honors both years.

Dowell, 45, had one daughter, Paris Terry.

 

 

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