LONGVIEW, TX. (THECOUNT) — Rick Dowdle, former Pine Tree High School basketball coach, has tragically died after breaking his neck in a Christmas Day fall. He was 63.

The beloved former coach passed away Monday following a months-long hospital stay.


Coach Dowdle spent 15 seasons at Pine Tree High School, his alma mater, as the head boys basketball coach.

A 1974 graduate of PTHS, he was a member of the Pirates’ 1973 State Championship basketball team. He was named to the All-State team in 1973 and 1974. As a senior, he was recognized as the District and All-East Texas Most Valuable Player and was selected to play in the Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star game in Houston, reported CBS19TV.

Dowdle received his B.S. in Education from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1978 where he earned All-Conference and All-Region basketball honors.

He joined Coach Rex G. Ray’s squad as an assistant at Pine Tree upon graduating from SFA. Hist first stint at PT would last four years.

Coach Dowdle would spend time at Kilgore High School and Longview High School before former head coach Bob Friday brought him back to his roots as an assistant at Pine Tree in 2001.

Coach Dowdle took over the basketball program in 2002 where he would stay until 2017.

He was multi-year Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers honoree and was the proud recipient of the Pine Tree Education Foundation’s 2011 Beacon Award.

Geo quick facts: Longview is the forty-fifth largest city in the state of Texas. The city is mostly located in Gregg County, of which it is the county seat; a small part of Longview extends into the western part of neighboring Harrison County – Wikipedia.