The rise of Chapman football within the SCIAC has been the residue of a very specific plan put in place by Bob Owens when he took the helm of the Panthers in 2006. In 2015, Owens notched his 50th victory at Chapman in his 10th season and became the Panthers' all-time winningest coach.
The three-time SCIAC Coach of the Year has led the Panthers to a pair SCIAC championships in its first seven years in the conference. Chapman went undefeated in SCIAC play in 2014 and 2017 to claim the SCIAC titles and appearances in the NCAA Tournament - the only appearances in school history.
Owens' 2017 squad overcame an 0-2 start and put together a dominant 6-0 run through the SCIAC to claim its second conference title. As a result, Chapman's players were selected as the conference's Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year.
In 2014, Owens was named Coach of the Year after leading the Panthers to an undefeated conference record and the school's highest ranking in program history (No. 17) en route to its first-ever NCAA playoff berth. After having Chapman one win away from winning the conference in the past two seasons, Owens and his Panthers took home the SCIAC crown in just their third year as a member of the conference. It was Owens' third SCIAC title (two with Whittier).
Chapman is 37-18 since the start of the 2012 season (when Chapman joined the SCIAC) and 32-9 against SCIAC opponents. The Panthers were one win away from the SCIAC title in back-to-back years and the Panthers tied a school record in 2013 and 2014 with eight wins.
In 2013, the Panthers led the nation in passing rating and red zone efficiency and ranked in the top-10 in Division III in total offense, scoring and fourth-down conversions.
In 13 seasons, Chapman has had 14 players named to All-West Region teams. Owens has also stressed strong academics, already coaching 14 Academic All-District VIII selections and a few dozen more who have been named NFF College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes. A handful of former Panthers have signed professional contracts to play football in Europe, Australia and in Arena Football.
Prior to coming to Chapman, Owens served as offensive coordinator at Humboldt State (most recently). He was also the head coach at Division III-rival Whittier College, where he led the Poets to two SCIAC championships (1997-98).
Owens has 32 years of college coaching experience, including stops at Fresno State, Utah State and Oregon. He served as the wide receivers coach for Nevada on its Big West championship team in 1995 and helped lead the Sacramento Surge to a World League title as its running backs coach in 1992.
His passing offense ranked in the top-15 in NCAA Division II at Humboldt State and helped the Lumberjacks to a second place finish in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in 2004 - the school's best finish in five years.
A graduate of the University of La Verne, where he earned a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1970, Owens went on to earn his master's in curriculum and instruction from the University of Oregon in 1974. He served as a professor of African-American sociology at Whittier (1996-2002) and at Chico State (1993-95), as well as a professor of African-American history at Oregon (1972-74). He and his wife, Debby, currently reside in Whittier.
| Bob Owens' Head Coaching Highlights
Whittier & Chapman (1996-01, '06-16)
|* over 50 wins at Chapman, the most in program history|
|* over 80 career wins; celebrated #50 in 2012|
|* 68-45 career record vs. SCIAC opponents|
|* SCIAC Championships: 1997, 1998, 2014, 2017|
|* SCIAC Coach of the Year: 1997, 2014, 2017|
|* Ranked No. 17 in Division III: 2014|
|* Ranked No. 18 in Division III: 1998|
|* Top-25 in nation in passing offense: 1997-98, 2007, 2013, 2019|
|* Top-25 in nation in rushing offense: 2013, 2014|
|* Top-25 in nation in total offense: 2012-13|
|* Back-to-back winning seasons: 2007-08, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2016-18 (first time at CU since 1994-96)|