2016 Coming Home King crowned

Senior Taylor Bowling was crowned 2016 Coming Home King. Bowling, a civil engineering major who got a job offer in Lexington where he will work after college. Bowling states, “I found out about the Coming Home King, because my roommate last year ran and so I decided to this year.” Ebony Cox/HERALD

Shantel Pettway

On Mar. 3, London senior Taylor Bowling was crowned the 2016 Coming Home King.

The crowd cheered as each of the candidates took their place on the basketball court that night.

When Bowling’s name was announced he was excited.

“My first thought was ‘mama I made it’,” Bowling said jokingly.

Bowling’s mother traveled two hours to support him on that night. For Bowling, that was one of the more rewarding moments.

“When they called my name she was smiling from ear-to-ear, jumping up and down,” Bowling said. “All thanks goes to her, because she made me the person I am now.”

Bowling decided to participate in the Coming Home King event because of his love for WKU. Bowling was a representative for the Spirit Masters.

Though Bowling now has the title, looking back on the week he spent with 20 other young men, he feels they were all deserving.

“Excluding myself, the 20 other gentleman should’ve all been king,” Bowling said.

Bowling’s selflessness was something that resonated with the other candidates who spent time with him.

Louisville senior Marcus Stubbs recalls Bowling’s constant selflessness from a text Bowling sent to him before a Coming Home King interview.

“I remember he texted me before my interview and said he hoped I did well,” Stubbs said.

That was a gesture that stuck out to Stubbs, as he and the other 20 candidates were going through the process.

Stubbs wasn’t surprised when Bowling won the crown. Stubbs said he was happy for his longtime friend’s crowning.

“We all had a little competitiveness in us, but we all did our thing,” Stubbs said.

During the interviewing process when Stubbs was asked who he would pick to win if he wasn’t chosen, he chose Bowling. 

Another memorable moment for Bowling on his journey to Coming Home King was getting to be closer to other men on campus.

Colton Hounshell, a senior from Oldham County was a candidate who also shared the same sentiments.

“It was nice to meet people from different areas,” Hounshell said. “We were all getting to know different people who would be future leaders.”

Above everything else, Bowling said he feels that this group of men showcases the excellence here at WKU.

“WKU has a lot to take pride in just by looking at the people who were nominated,” Bowling said.

Andrew Rash, coordinator for student activities, said it was “refreshing” to learn more about some of the best young men at WKU.

Rash helped coordinate some of the Coming Home King events, alongside Graduate Assistant Jarren Nixon.

“I’m glad to be a part of a program that recognizes some of WKU’s outstanding gentlemen,” Rash said.

All people face rough times in life, but there are always opportunities that can take you to great places, Bowling said.

“What makes WKU so special is because just because we’re on the hill doesn’t mean we’re on top,” Bowling said. “I’ve had times that I’ve stayed in the valley, but I’ve always had more opportunities than I could ever ask for.”