Fowler earned his way to the Director of Athletics by working as the Associate Athletic Director and Director of Tiger Club for the University of Memphis. From 1986 to 1994, Fowler restructured and refocused the fund-raising and marketing departments.
He implemented a number of prerequisites for Tiger Club Members, developed a corporate sponsorship program, and directed a number of social events which resulted in the highest level of fundraising in school history. The statistical results tell most of his story as fundraising dollars increased over 480% and the number of donors increased by over 200%.
Prior to his position as Associate Athletic Director, Fowler served as the Assistant Basketball Coach for Memphis. As part of this elite coaching staff, Memphis finished with an overall record of 154-45 during his tenure and was ranked in the Top-10 five of seven years.
The 1984-85 Tigers posted a 31-4 overall record and a 13-1 Metro Conference mark. Memphis swept the Metro Conference regular-season and tournament titles. The Tigers advanced to the program's second NCAA Final Four.
The 31 wins were, at the time, a school record, and the 1984-85 squad's 31-4 record was the first 30-win season in the program's history. In addition, Memphis was ranked in the top-five of the national polls all but two weeks of that season and climbed as high as No. 3 in the nation. All four setbacks were by seven or fewer points.
Memphis won the Metro Conference Tournament championship with a thrilling 90-86 overtime victory over Florida State and rode that momentum into the NCAA Tournament. After a 12-point victory over Penn in the first round, the Tigers won narrow single-digit decisions over UAB 67-66 in overtime, Boston College 59-57 and Oklahoma 63-61 to advance to the NCAA Final Four.
While at Memphis, Fowler earned his Masters of Science Degree in 1986.