Rod Dowhower
Biographical details
Born (1943-04-15) April 15, 1943 (age 79)
Ord, Nebraska
Playing career
1963–1965San Diego State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1966San Diego State (GA)
1967San Diego State (QB/WR)
1968–1972San Diego State (OC)
1973St. Louis Cardinals (WR)
1974–1975UCLA (OC)
1976Boise State (OC)
1977–1978Stanford (WR)
1980Denver Broncos (OC)
1981–1982Denver Broncos (WR)
1983–1984St. Louis Cardinals (OC/QB)
1985–1986Indianapolis Colts
1987–1989Atlanta Falcons (OC)
1990–1993Washington Redskins (QB)
1994Cleveland Browns (QB)
1997–1998New York Giants (QB)
1999–2001Philadelphia Eagles (OC)
Head coaching record
Overall9–23–1 (college)
5–24 (NFL)
Accomplishments and honors

Rodney Douglas Dowhower (born April 15, 1943) is a former American football player and coach. He was the head coach at Stanford University and Vanderbilt University; in between he was the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL).

Dowhower was promoted to head coach at Stanford on January 9, 1979,[1] a day after predecessor Bill Walsh announced his departure to lead the NFL's San Francisco 49ers,[2][3] After leading the Cardinal to a 5–5–1 record in 1979, he left in January 1980 to become the offensive coordinator for the NFL's Denver Broncos under head coach Red Miller.[4][5][6] With a change in ownership in February 1981, Dan Reeves became the head coach the following month;[7][8][9] Dowhower stayed on staff as the receivers coach.

Dowhower was later the head coach for two seasons at Vanderbilt (1995, 1996), but won just four games for a career college football record of 9–23–1 (.288). Previously, he was the head coach of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts for two years (1985, 1986), where he tallied a record of 5–24 (.172), and was fired after losing the first thirteen games in 1986.

Dowhower attended San Diego State University, where he played quarterback for the Aztecs. He served as an assistant coach at San Diego State, UCLA, and Boise State. Dowhower was an assistant coach for seven NFL teams: the St. Louis Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns (under Bill Belichick), New York Giants, and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Stanford Cardinals (Pacific-10 Conference) (1979)
1979 Stanford 5–5–1 3–3–1 6th
Stanford: 5–5–1 3–3–1
Vanderbilt Commodores (Southeastern Conference) (1995–1996)
1995 Vanderbilt 2–9 1–7 6th (Eastern)
1996 Vanderbilt 2–9 0–8 6th (Eastern)
Vanderbilt: 4–18 1–15
Total: 9–23–1


Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
IND 1985 5 11 0 .313 4th in AFC East
IND 1986 0 13 0 .000 5th in AFC East
IND total 5 24 0 .172
Total 5 24 0 .172


  1. ^ "Dowhower wants Stanford exciting". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). UPI. January 10, 1979. p. 3C.
  2. ^ "Bill Walsh Is Named 49er Coach," The Associated Press (AP), Tuesday, January 9, 1979. Retrieved November 20, 2020
  3. ^ "UPI". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Walsh gets pact worth $1 million from the 49ers. January 10, 1979. p. 1C.
  4. ^ "Card coach resigns". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. January 24, 1980. p. 30.
  5. ^ "Dowhower suddenly leaves Stanford for NFL". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire service reports. January 24, 1980. p. 3B.
  6. ^ "Dowhower resigns as Stanford football coach". Lodi News-Sentinel. (California). UPI. January 24, 1980. p. 18.
  7. ^ "Red is out, Reeves in at Denver". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 10, 1981. p. 19.
  8. ^ Reid, Ron (March 10, 1981). "Miller out, Reeves in as Broncos coach". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 13.
  9. ^ "Reeves hired as new Bronco coach". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). Associated Press. March 11, 1981. p. G2.