American Football Database
Tommy Bowden
File:Tommy Bowden 2010.jpg
Tommy Bowden as head football coach at Clemson
Biographical details
Born (1954-07-10) July 10, 1954 (age 67)
Birmingham, Alabama
Playing career
Position(s)Wide receiver
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
C-USA Champion (1998)
C-USA Coach of the Year (1998)
ACC Coach of the Year (1999, 2003)
1× FCA Football Coach of the Year (2006)

Tommy Pearce Bowden (born July 10, 1954) is an American football coach who served as the head coach at Clemson University from 1999 until October 13, 2008. He is a son of Bobby Bowden, former head football coach of Florida State University, against whom he has coached in games nicknamed the "Bowden Bowl." He is also a brother of Terry Bowden, previously head football coach of the University of Akron.

Coaching career

Before coming to Clemson, Bowden was the head coach at Tulane University, and an assistant at the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Duke University, the University of Kentucky, East Carolina University and, with his father, at Florida State. His 1998 Tulane squad went 12–0 and achieved a top-10 final ranking in both polls. Despite being one of only two undefeated teams in the regular season, Tulane was not even considered for a bid in a Bowl Championship Series game because it was believed they had not played a difficult schedule.

File:Tommy Bowden-Clemson 2006.jpg

Bowden in 2006 as Clemson's head coach.

Bowden was hired as Clemson's head coach before the 1999 season. Bowden's Clemson teams went to a bowl game every year he coached there, except in 2004, when, after a brawl with rival South Carolina, both teams withdrew from bowl consideration for that season. He resigned on October 13, 2008, after leading the team to a disappointing 3–3 record (1–2 ACC) at the midpoint of a season in which the Tigers had been an almost unanimous preseason pick to win their first ACC title under Bowden and were ranked #9 in the preseason polls. Assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Dabo Swinney was named as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.


File:Tommy Bowden prayer luncheon 2008.jpg

Bowden, an evangelical Christian, addresses airmen at Pope Field in celebration of the National Prayer Luncheon in 2008.

Bowden attended and played football for West Virginia University from 1972 through 1976. He is married to the former Linda White and has two children, Ryan and Lauren. He is a son of former Florida State Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden and has two sisters and three brothers, including Terry,former head coach at the University of Akron, and Jeff, who served as an assistant coach on his brother Terry's staff. Bowden is an evangelical Christian.[1][2] He has openly used his religion as a recruiting tool, saying that his faith “was a tremendous recruiting advantage.”[3][4]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Tulane Green Wave (Conference USA) (1997–1998)
1997 Tulane 7–4 5–1 2nd
1998 Tulane 11–0 6–0 1st Liberty 7 7
Tulane: 18–4 11–1
Clemson Tigers (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1999–2008)
1999 Clemson 6–6 5–3 2nd L Peach
2000 Clemson 9–3 6–2 2nd L Gator 14 16
2001 Clemson 7–5 4–4 T–4th W Humanitarian
2002 Clemson 7–6 4–4 T–5th L Tangerine
2003 Clemson 9–4 5–3 3rd W Peach 22 22
2004 Clemson 6–5 4–4 T–6th Declined*
2005 Clemson 8–4 4–4 3rd (Atlantic) W Champs Sports 21 21
2006 Clemson 8–5 5–3 T–2nd (Atlantic) L Music City
2007 Clemson 9–4 5–3 2nd (Atlantic) L Chick-fil-A 22 21
2008 Clemson 3–3 1–2 T–2nd (Atlantic)
Clemson: 72–45 43–32
Total: 90–49
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

*Self-imposed punishment for team fight with South Carolina
Bowden resigned on October 13, 2008.

Coaching tree

Assistant coaches under Bowden who became college head coaches: