Terry Bowden
Bobby Bowden and sons pictured in 1982. Terry Bowden is on the far right
Biographical details
Born (1956-02-25) February 25, 1956 (age 67)
Douglas, Georgia, U.S.
Playing career
1977–1978West Virginia
Position(s)Running back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1982Florida State (GA)
1986Akron (QB)
2009–2011North Alabama
2019–2020Clemson (GA)
Head coaching record
Tournaments2–2 (NCAA D-IAA playoffs)
2–2 (NCAA D-II playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
2 WVIAC (1984, 1985)
2 SEC Western Division Titles (*1993,1997)
1 Gulf South (2009)
1 MAC East Division (2017)
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)
Gulf South Co-Coach of The Year (2009)

Terry Wilson Bowden (/ˈbdən/; born February 24, 1956) is an American college football coach. He was most recently the head football coach at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, a position he held until the conclusion of the 2023 season. Bowden served as the head football coach at Salem University (1983–1985), Samford University (1987–1992), Auburn University (1993–1998), the University of North Alabama (2009–2011), and the University of Akron (2012–2018). He is a son of former Florida State University head football coach Bobby Bowden and a brother of Tommy Bowden, former head football coach at Clemson University, and Jeff Bowden, the former offensive coordinator at Florida State.


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, 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]


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 in 1993, 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. That same year, Bowden was honored with membership into Omicron Delta Kappa - the National Leadership Honor Society.

In 1997, Auburn reached the SEC Championship Game, where they held as much as a 20–7 lead, but lost, giving up a fourth quarter 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. On July 24, 2013, an article in The Auburn Villager newspaper claimed, a novel titled "The Legend's Son" is a thinly disguised satire of Bowden's rise and fall at Auburn.[6]

Broadcasting career

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.[7] 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.[8] 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 Alabama

On December 31, 2008, it was announced that he would be the next head football coach at the University of North Alabama in Florence.[9] He was officially introduced as the head football coach at the University Center on January 1, 2009.[10] 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 Division II Playoffs.


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.[11] He replaced Rob Ianello as the Zips' head coach, who was fired on November 26 after compiling a 2–22 record in two seasons.[11] In his first year, Bowden duplicated Ianello's 1–11 record from 2011.

On September 14, 2013, Bowden led Akron against Michigan in Ann Arbor and came within a few yards of defeating the Wolverines. The Zips lost, 28–24, after an incomplete pass from the Wolverines' three-yard line on the final play of the game went out of the back of the end zone. Akron led at various points during the game: 10–7 in the third quarter after a 28-yard passing touchdown from Kyle Pohl to Zach D'Orazio; and 24–21 in the fourth quarter after a one-yard pass from Pohl to Tyrell Goodman.[12] Bowden's 2013 team showed improvement, compiling a 5–7 record on the season[13] and snapping the nation's longest road losing streak (28) with a 24–17 victory against the Miami RedHawks.[14] For the signs of improvement shown by the Zips, Akron extended Bowden's contract by two years through 2017.[15] Bowden led the Zips to an 8–5 season in 2015, his first winning season as Akron's coach. He also got Akron their first ever bowl game victory against Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

On September 15, 2018, Bowden led Akron to the school's first victory over a Big Ten opponent since 1894 (when Akron, then known as Buchtel College, defeated Ohio State 12–6),[16] defeating Northwestern 39–34 on the road.[17] After the Zips finished the season with a 4–8 record, he was fired on December 2, 2018.[18]


In June 2019, Bowden joined the Clemson Tigers staff as an unpaid intern in addition to attending the university to receive a graduate degree.[19][20]


Bowden was named head football coach at the University of Louisiana at Monroe on December 23, 2020.[21] Louisiana–Monroe fired Bowden on November 26, 2023, after three years and a record of 10–26.[22]

Head coaching record

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 (NCAA Division III independent) (1987–1988)
1987 Samford 9–1
1988 Samford 5–6
Samford Bulldogs (NCAA Division I-AA independent) (1989–1992)
1989 Samford 4–7
1990 Samford 6–4–1
1991 Samford 12–2 L NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal
1992 Samford 9–3 L NCAA Division I-AA First Round
Samford: 45–23–1
Auburn Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (1993–1998)
1993 Auburn 11–0 8–0 1st (Western) 4
1994 Auburn 9–1–1 6–1–1 2nd (Western) 9
1995 Auburn 8–4 5–3 2nd (Western) L Outback 21 22
1996 Auburn 8–4 4–4 3rd (Western) W Independence 25 24
1997 Auburn 10–3 6–2 T–1st (Western) W Peach 11 11
1998 Auburn 1–5[n 1] 1–4[n 1] 6th (Western)
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 Quarterfinal
2010 North Alabama 9–4 5–3 T–4th L NCAA Division II Second Round
2011 North Alabama 9–3 2–2 T–2nd L NCAA Division II Second Round
North Alabama: 29–9 14–6
Akron Zips (Mid-American Conference) (2012–2018)
2012 Akron 1–11 0–8 7th (East)
2013 Akron 5–7 4–4 T–3rd (East)
2014 Akron 5–7 3–5 4th (East)
2015 Akron 8–5 5–3 T–2nd (East) W Famous Idaho Potato
2016 Akron 5–7 3–5 T–3rd (East)
2017 Akron 7–7 6–2 1st (East) L Boca Raton
2018 Akron 4–8 2–6 T–4th (East)
Akron: 35–52 23–33
Louisiana–Monroe Warhawks (Sun Belt Conference) (2021–2023)
2021 Louisiana–Monroe 4–8 2–6 T–3rd (West)
2022 Louisiana–Monroe 4–8 3–5 5th (West)
2023 Louisiana–Monroe 2–10 0–8 7th (West)
Louisiana–Monroe: 10–26 5–19
Total: 185–140–2
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ a b Bowden resigned after six games. Bill Oliver was appointed interim head coach and led Auburn for the remaining five games of the season.


  1. ^ "Samford University 2005 Football Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved December 2, 2005.
  2. ^ a b "Terry Bowden shows interest in coaching West Virginia". USA Today. December 17, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  3. ^ "Terry Bowden | Long Bio". Archived from the original on January 5, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  4. ^ "De-clawed Tigers; Terry Bowden resigns as Auburn coach after 1-5 start". CNN. October 24, 1998. Archived from the original on October 28, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  5. ^ Fish, Mike (January 13, 2006). "A Tiger of a trustee". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 17, 2006.
  6. ^ Eddins, Don (July 24, 2013). "'The Legend's Son' It's not just about Auburn football". The Auburn Villager. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  7. ^ Sessa, Peter (August 10, 2006). "Westwood One Announces Terry Bowden And Kevin Kugler As NCAA Football Broadcast Team". Westwood One. Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved October 8, 2006.
  8. ^ Bowden, Terry (July 30, 2007). "You just never know". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved August 1, 2007.
  9. ^ "Terry Bowden named head coach at North Alabama". ESPN. January 2009.
  10. ^ Perrin, Mike (January 1, 2009). "Terry Bowden introduced as University of North Alabama coach". The Birmingham News. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
  11. ^ a b "Terry Bowden takes over at Akron". ESPN.com. Associated Press. December 28, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  12. ^ "Akron vs. Michigan - Game Recap - September 14, 2013 - ESPN".
  13. ^ Autullo, Ryan (November 30, 2013). "Akron knocks Toledo down". The Blade. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  14. ^ "Akron Ended Years of Futility in 1 Win over Miami". October 19, 2013.
  15. ^ "Akron gives Terry Bowden two-year contract extension". USA Today.
  16. ^ "pp 131 166 Records - Akron Athletics" (PDF). gozips.com. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  17. ^ "Akron vs. Northwestern - Game Summary - September 15, 2018 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  18. ^ https://www.ohio.com/sports/20181202/university-of-akron-football-coach-terry-bowden-fired-after-seven-seasons[permanent dead link][bare URL]
  19. ^ Rittenberg, Adam (June 13, 2019). "Terry Bowden to assist Clemson staff as intern". ESPN. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  20. ^ Hunsucker, Adam (May 14, 2021). "Why ULM's Terry Bowden became a college graduate again — at 65 years old". The News-Star. Monroe. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  21. ^ Hunsucker, Adam (January 11, 2021). "ULM football coach Terry Bowden's latest career arc is his toughest yet". The News-Star. Monroe. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  22. ^ Stephenson, Creg (November 26, 2023). "Terry Bowden out as head coach at Louisiana-Monroe". AL.com. Retrieved November 26, 2023.