Terry Bowden

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Terry Bowden (born 1956) is a college football head coach currently employed by the University of North Alabama, but is best known for his five years as head football coach at Auburn. Bowden is the son of Florida State head football coach Bobby Bowden. His siblings include Tommy Bowden, the former head football coach at Clemson, and Jeff Bowden, former offensive coordinator at Florida State.


Bowden attended West Virginia University, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in accounting. In addition to his post-graduate work at Oxford University in England, he also received his Juris Doctorate degree from Florida State University College of Law.

Coaching career

Samford University

Bowden began his coaching career at Salem College in 1983. While at Salem, he won two WVIA Conference titles. In 1986, Bowden left to be an assistant coach at Akron University 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 progam's move from Division III football to Division I-AA scholarship football. In 1991, Bowden's Samford team reached the I-AA semifinals.

Auburn University

In 1992, Bowden was hired to succeed Pat Dye 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.

In his first season at Auburn in 1993, Bowden led the Tigers to a perfect 11-0 season. He followed this with a 9-1-1 season in 1994, winning 20 games in a row, which is the longest winning streak in Auburn history.

In 1997, Auburn reached the SEC title game, where they lost a 20-7 lead when they gave up a last minute, 73-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Manning of the Tennessee Volunteers.

However, Bowden's fate at Auburn changed in 1998. Bowden faced criticism for recruiting woes, off-the-field issues that resulted in player discipline, and in his relationships with Auburn supporters. These issues combined with a string of injuries at center and in the backfield, leading to a disastrous start. After starting the season with a 1-5 record, Bowden resigned as head coach the nigth before the team's game against Louisiana Tech. In conversations with Athetic Director David Housel, Bowden was given no assurances he would have a chance to remedy the situation for the next season and believed his firing was imminent. The team was coached for the remainder of the season by Bill Oliver.

While at Salem and Samford, Bowden coached quarterback Jimbo Fisher to a NCAA Division III National Player of the Year award. Fisher later became quarterbacks coach for Bowden at Auburn, and after much success as the offensive coordinator for LSU, is now the offensive coordinator at FSU for Bobby Bowden. Another quarterback from Bowden's time at Auburn, Patrick Nix, is the current offensive coordinator for Miami.

University of North Alabama

Bowden returned to coaching in 2009, leading the University of North Alabama Lions to a 10-0 start and a #1 national ranking in Division II.


After resigning at Auburn, Bowden accepting a role as a studio analyst and color commentator for with ABC Sports' college football coverage. He has written for Yahoo sports as well. In 2007, Bowden joined Westwood One, where he continues to do color commentary.

Bowden continued to express an interest in returning to coaching. In November 2007, when West Virginia University coach Rich Rodriguez left for the University of Michigan coaching vacancy, Bowden called West Virginia "the dream job" for him. However, Bill Stewart, who was an assistant coach at WVU, was offered the job instead after his win over the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl.

Preceded by:
Kim Alsop
Samford University head football coach
Succeeded by:
Chan Gailey
Preceded by:
Pat Dye
Auburn University head football coach
Succeeded by:
Bill Oliver (interim); Tommy Tuberville
Preceded by:
Mark Hudspeth
University of North Alabama head football coach
Succeeded by:


  • Terry Bowden. (2009, January 1). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:56, January 1, 2009 [1]

External links