By Steve Svetovich
Carrie Bowen Toomey is a basketball lifer.
And a former all-state basketball player for Dunmore.
For years, she has been one of the biggest supporters of the Dunmore basketball programs.
For the past three years she served as assistant basketball coach at Dunmore under Ben O’Brien who last month accepted a position as coach of the University of Scranton Lady Royals.
So it was not a surprise when Bowen Toomey, 51, was named last month as the new coach of the Dunmore Lady Bucks.
“It’s an honor to be chosen,” she said. “I prepared for this for an entire lifetime. I have more to give and I’m very excited.”
Her daughter Ciera Toomey will be a senior forward/center for the Lady Bucks this season. She will begin the season out with a knee injury, but is expected to play under her mom at some point during the season.
She is committed to play basketball for the University of North Carolina the following year. She averaged over 18 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 67.2 percent from the floor as a junior for Dunmore.
“We are hoping she plays,” her mom said. “If she does, it will be later in the season. She was thrilled about me being named coach though. I have coached her since she started playing basketball. We anticipate she can eventually play this year.”
Another daughter, Victoria Toomey, was a four-year basketball standout at Dunmore and is currently a senior center at Rider University.
Bowen Toomey was a four-year starter for Franklin and Marshall College. At 5-10, she played forward, was a strong rebounder and possessed a terrific jump hook shot.
The Diplomats were MAC-South champs in 1990 with a 25-5 record. During the next three years, Franklin and Marshall won the MAC-Southwesf title, losing in the league championship game each year.
Bowen Toomey was named to the MAC-Southwest Conference first team three years in a row and was the league’s MVP in her junior and senior years. She was named to the ECAC South first All Conference team her junior and senior years.
She was named to the WBCA Mid-Atlantic first team and received honorable mention All-American honors by the WBA. Gazette, the women’s basketball magazine, named her third-team All-American.
She averaged 13.6 points as a college freshman. She improved to 13.8 as a sophomore, 16.8 as a junior, and 20.1 points per game as a senior.
She finished her Franklin and Marshall career second in school history in scoring with 1,686 points, fourth in rebounding with 821, third in assists with 276, third in steals with 226, fourth in 3-point goals with 54, and third in blocks with 141.
She is in Franklin and Marshall’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
She played professional basketball in England for one year with the Avesta Sheffield Hatters in the English National League. She averaged 14.0 points per game there.
“Being named coach of the Dunmore Lady Bucks is the biggest thrill of my coaching career,” she said. “It’s a great program and we all understand what comes with it,
“Our goal every year here at Dunmore is to win the Lynett title, the district title and the state title.
“I want to make a smooth transition from what Ben did here. And then I want to continue the level of play and success Dunmore is used to every season.”
Bowen-Toomey is a member of the Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. While playing for Dunmore, she was the Female Athlete of the Year in 1988-89. She was Scranton Times All-Regional Player of the Year in 1988-89.
She was a part of four straight Lackawanna League South titles as a four-year starter for Dunmore. She was a big part of Dunmore’s District II title in 1986-87. She earned four straight Girls’ Lackawanna Southern Division first-team all-star selections while scoring 1,635 career points and hauling down 1,020 career rebounds.
She is the first female league president in the Dunmore Biddy Basketball League where she coached and served as board member.
She served as assistant basketball coach at Bishop O’Hara from 1997 to 2001 and coached the NEPA Elite AAU team and NEPA Flames AAU team for JB Hoops. She also has experience as a basketball trainer.
“This is a labor of love for me,” she said. “It’s a big job. We all know that. But it’s what I have been doing for my entire life.”