Tommy Bowden as head football coach at Clemson
July 10, 1954|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1977||West Virginia (GA)|
|1978–1979||Florida State (DB)|
|1981–1982||Florida State (TE)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|1× C-USA Champion (1998)|
1× C-USA Coach of the Year (1998)|
2× 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, currently head football coach of the University of Akron.
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 legitimate schedule.
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.
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, the head coach at the University of Akron, and Jeff, who serves as an assistant coach on his brother Terry's staff. Bowden is an evangelical Christian. He has openly used his religion as a recruiting tool, saying that his faith “was a tremendous recruiting advantage.”
Head coaching record
|Tulane Green Wave (Conference USA) (1997–1998)|
|Clemson Tigers (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1999–2008)|
|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|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
*Self-imposed punishment for team fight with South Carolina
‡ Bowden resigned on October 13, 2008.
Assistant coaches under Tommy Bowden who became NCAA head coaches:
- Rich Rodriguez: Salem (1988), Glenville State (1990–1996), West Virginia (2001–2007), Michigan (2008–2010), Arizona (2012–2017)
- Rick Stockstill: Middle Tennessee (2006–present)
- Dabo Swinney: Clemson (2008–present)
- Billy Napier: Louisiana–Lafayette (2018–present)