Terry Bowden
Current position
TitleHead coach
ConferenceMid-American Conference
Biographical details
Born (1956-02-24) February 24, 1956 (age 64)
Douglas, Georgia
Playing career
1977–1978West Virginia
Position(s)Running back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Florida State (GA)
Akron (assistant)
North Alabama
Head coaching record
Tournaments2–2 (NCAA D-IAA playoffs)
2–2 (NCAA D-II playoffs)
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
2 WVIAC (1984–1985)
1 SEC Western Division Title (1997)
1 Gulf South (2009)
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1993)
George Munger Award (1993)
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (1993)
Sporting News College Football COY (1993)
Walter Camp Coach of the Year (1993)
SEC Coach of the Year (1993)

Terry Bowden (born February 24,1956) is the head football coach at the University of Akron. Bowden was previously head coach at Salem University (1983–1985), Samford University (1987–1992), Auburn University (1993–1998), and the University of North Alabama (2009–2011). Bowden is the son of former Florida State University head football coach Bobby Bowden. He is the brother of Tommy Bowden, former head football coach at Clemson University, and Jeff Bowden, the former offensive coordinator at Florida State who serves as Terry's special teams coordinator at Akron.


Bowden attended and played football for West Virginia University, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in accounting. His father, Bobby Bowden, was the Mountaineers' head coach until 1975, and Bowden lettered twice as a running back for his father's successor, Frank Cignetti, Sr. [1][2] In addition to his post-graduate work at Oxford University in England, Bowden also received his Juris Doctor degree from Florida State University College of Law.


Terry Bowden began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Florida State before becoming the nation's youngest head coach at age 26 when he accepted the position at Salem College in 1983. While at Salem, he won two West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles. In 1986, Bowden left to be an assistant coach at The University of Akron for Gerry Faust. In 1987, Bowden became the head coach at Samford University, a school where his father played and coached. At Samford, Bowden directed the program's move from Division III football to Division I-AA scholarship football. In 1991, Bowden's Samford team reached the I-AA semifinals.[3]

Auburn UniversityEdit

In 1992, Bowden was hired to succeed Pat Dye as the head football coach at Auburn University. Bowden's hiring occurred while the program faced NCAA sanctions, which included scholarship reductions, a one-year television ban, and a two-year postseason ban.

During his first year at Auburn, Bowden led the Tigers to a perfect 11–0 season, becoming the first coach to go undefeated in his debut season at a Division I school. In 1994, Auburn finished 9–1–1, establishing the longest winning streak in school history at 20 games.

In 1997, Auburn reached the SEC Championship Game, where they held as much as a 20–7 lead, but lost after they gave up a last minute, 73-yard touchdown pass by Peyton Manning of the Tennessee Volunteers.

In 1998. Bowden's fate at Auburn changed as he faced criticism for recruiting woes, off-the-field issues that resulted in player discipline, and in his relationships with Auburn administrators, including board of trustees member Bobby Lowder. These issues, combined with a string of player injuries, led to a disastrous start of the 1998 season. After starting with a 1–5 record, Bowden resigned as head coach the night before Auburn played against Louisiana Tech.[4] In conversations with athletic director David Housel, Bowden was given no assurances he would have a chance to remedy the situation for the next season, and that he believed his termination was imminent.[5] The team was coached for the remainder of the season by Bill Oliver.

Broadcasting careerEdit

After resigning at Auburn, Bowden accepted a role as a studio analyst and color commentator for ABC Sports' college football coverage where he often referred to his father Bobby Bowden as "Daddy". He was also an exclusive college football columnist for Yahoo! Sports. For a period, Bowden also hosted a sports talk radio show in the Orlando, Florida area. In 2006, Bowden became the expert analyst for Westwood One radio network's College Football National Game of Week.[6] He also co-hosted "The Coaches Show" on Sirius Satellite Radio with Jack Arute and worked several times a month as a motivational speaker.

In a July 30, 2007 column, writing a few weeks before the 2007 college football season, Bowden said he was eager to go back to coaching for the 2008 football season.[7] In December 2007, the coaching job at his alma mater West Virginia opened up: Rich Rodriguez left to be Michigan's coach. Bowden issued a statement which read in part, "Coming home to West Virginia would obviously be the dream job for me."[2] However, West Virginia offered the job to one of Rodriguez's assistants, Bill Stewart, who was the interim head coach when the Mountaineers upset the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. In late 2007, Bowden interviewed for the head coaching job at Georgia Tech, which ultimately went to Paul Johnson.

Bowden returned to the broadcasting booth for the 2008 season. At the end of the year, Bowden took the head coach position at a Division II school, North Alabama.

North AlabamaEdit

On December 31, 2008 it was announced that he would be the next head football coach at the University of North Alabama in Florence.[8] He was officially introduced as the head football coach at the University Center on January 1, 2009.[9] Bowden was tapped to replace Mark Hudspeth, who left after directing the Lions to a 66–21 record and a third berth in seven years in the national playoff semifinals to become the passing game coordinator at Mississippi State University under new head coach Dan Mullen. During Bowden's tenure at North Alabama he guided the Lions to three appearances in the NCAA Div II Tournament.


On December 22, 2011, it was announced Bowden would be hired as the next head football coach at the University of Akron, and he was formally introduced on December 28, 2011.[10] He replaced Rob Ianello as the Zips' head coach, who was fired on November 26 after compiling a 2–22 record in two seasons.[10] In his first year Bowden duplicated Ianello's 1-11 record from 2011.

Coaching treeEdit

While at Salem and Samford, Bowden coached quarterback Jimbo Fisher to an NCAA Division III National Player of the Year award.[11] Fisher later became quarterbacks coach for Bowden at Auburn, and after much success as the offensive coordinator for LSU, Fisher succeeded Bowden's father as head coach at Florida State. Two quarterbacks from Bowden's time at Auburn have been successful in their coaching careers. Patrick Nix has been the offensive coordinator for Georgia Tech and Miami (FL) and Dameyune Craig was the quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator at Florida State under Coach Fisher. He is currently the Co-Offensive Coordinator and Wide Receivers coach for Auburn University.

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Salem Tigers (West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1983–1985)
1983 Salem 3–7 2–6 T–7th
1984 Salem 8–3 7–1 T–1st
1985 Salem 8–3 6–1 1st
Salem: 19–13 15–8
Samford Bulldogs (Division III Independent) (1987–1988)
1987 Samford 9–1
1988 Samford 5–6
Samford Bulldogs (Division I-AA Independent) (1989–1992)
1989 Samford 4–7
1990 Samford 6–4–1
1991 Samford 12–2 L NCAA Division I-AA Semifinals
1992 Samford 9–3 L NCAA Division I-AA 1st Round
Samford: 45–23–1
Auburn Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (1993–1998)
1993 Auburn 11–0 8–0 1st (West) 4
1994 Auburn 9–1–1 6–1–1 2nd (West) 9
1995 Auburn 8–4 5–3 2nd (West) L Outback 21 22
1996 Auburn 8–4 4–4 3rd (West) W Independence 25 24
1997 Auburn 10–3 6–2 T–1st (West) W Peach 11 11
1998 Auburn 1–5[n 1] 1–4[n 1] 6th (West)
Auburn: 47–17–1 30–14–1 ‡ Ineligible for SEC title, bowl game and Coaches' Poll
North Alabama Lions (Gulf South Conference) (2009–2011)
2009 North Alabama 11–2 7–1 1st L NCAA Division II Quarterfinals
2010 North Alabama 9–4 5–3 T–4th L NCAA Division II 2nd Round
2011 North Alabama 9–3 2–2 T–2nd L NCAA Division II 2nd Round
North Alabama: 29–9 14–6
Akron Zips (Mid-American Conference) (2012–present)
2012 Akron 1–11 0–8
Akron: 1–11 0–8
Total: 141–73–2
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. "Samford University 2005 Football Media Guide". Retrieved 2005-12-02.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Terry Bowden shows interest in coaching West Virginia". USA Today. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  4. CNN. 1998-10-24. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  5. Fish, Mike (2006-01-13). "A Tiger of a trustee". Retrieved 2006-09-17.
  6. Sessa, Peter (2006-08-10). "Westwood One Announces Terry Bowden And Kevin Kugler As NCAA Football Broadcast Team". Westwood One. Retrieved 2006-10-08.
  7. Bowden, Terry (2007-07-30). "You just never know". Yahoo Sports.;_ylt=Aq0bvGOigc2Osal9pZbAKmscvrYF?slug=tb-youjustneverknow073007&prov=yhoo&type=lgns. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
  8. "Terry Bowden named head coach at North Alabama". ESPN.
  9. Perrin, Mike (2009-01-01). "Terry Bowden introduced as University of North Alabama coach". The Birmingham News. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Terry Bowden takes over at Akron". Associated Press. December 28, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  11. "Jimbo Fisher". LSU Athletic Department. Retrieved 2006-10-16.


External linksEdit

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