Paul “Biff” Lowry made a big deal out of everything he did.
From coaching swimming to writing about swimming to his work in horse racing, Lowry devoted 100 percent of his effort to a job well done.
“He was amazing,” said Dani Caldwell, swim coach for the combined team of Desert Hills, Hurricane and Pine View high schools, and coach of the SUSA Stingrays summer team. “I love particularly how he always made every kid feel like they were important.”
Lowry loved swimming so much that his wife, Katye Lowry, said the sport became just about everything to him.
“That really became the love of his life was coaching these kids,” Katye Lowry said. “He just loved them.”
And they loved him back, she said.
“One of the former coaches and her husband drove back for the funeral,” she said. “A lot of his swimmers were there, and they were in tears because he loved them. He wanted to go the extra mile, encourage them and help them.”
Most even made it back to see Biff Lowry before he died April 9 at the age of 87.
“When they came, he lit up,” Katye Lowry said. “That big smile came on his face, and he was so happy to see them. It brought a little vitality back to him.”
Writing for The Spectrum & Daily News was how local journalists came to know and love Lowry, as he wrote stories for years to highlight the high school swimmers in the area.
“Biff wrote with flair and with a keen knowledge of his subjects,” said David Cordero, executive editor for The Spectrum & Daily News. “He was a prolific writer well into his 80s, covering high school swimming and horse racing. I could count on him to produce an entertaining and informative story and meet our deadlines.”
He went above and beyond what was expected of him to write swimming stories.
“He loved writing for The Spectrum,” Katye Lowry said. “He would drive to Cedar and spend all those hours up there and then drive back. He would really work and look back in the records to see if kids dropped their times. He sometimes spent as much as 10 hours on an article. He loved it, and he wanted to be able to make Southern Utah aware of swimming.”
Caldwell said Biff Lowry always made the extra effort.
“I started coaching with him when he was a volunteer and then he became an assistant coach,” she said. “He would write articles for the paper highlighting the kids, and we developed a friendship. Once I split off with the other (high school) team, he would still go through the effort and trouble to find out when we had meets and make sure they were highlighted.”
Biff Lowry took time to deliver glory to swimming, Caldwell said.
“For Southern Utah, he promoted swimming,” she said. “It’s not a very publicized sport. It’s not a glory sport like football or basketball, so people pay less attention to it. But he would make sure articles got in the paper, and when these kids weren’t getting much recognition at their own schools it meant the world that they got their names in the paper.”
In his early years, Biff Lowry worked heavily in horse racing. He worked in various facets, including harness racing and thoroughbred racing. He joined the publicity department at Hollywood Park (Inglewood, California) in 1947 and then became publicity director for Western Harness. He then worked as president of Tattersalls (Lexington, Kentucky) until 1981.
Once Biff Lowry retired he wrote two books, “Hollywood Park: From Seabiscuit to Pincay” and “Killing Phar Lap.”
Follow Richard Briggs on Twitter, @BriggsRich.