AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron has named Terry Bowden, who owns a 140-62-2 record (69.3 winning percentage) over an 18-year coaching career, as its 27th head football coach, President Dr. Luis M. Proenza and director of athletics Tom Wistrcill announced Thursday.
Bowden, who served as a studio analyst and color commentator with ABC Sports' college football for 10 years, was the head coach at Auburn from 1993-98 and spent the previous three seasons at Division II North Alabama.
Bowden, 54, was an assistant coach at Akron in 1986 under then Zips' head coach Gerry Faust.
"We welcome Terry Bowden back to campus. He brings with him an outstanding record of success and a true football coaching pedigree," Proenza said. "We know the entire Akron community will support Coach Bowden in his mission to cultivate a championship program here."
"We're thrilled to have Terry join the Akron Athletics family," Wistrcill said. "It's great for our student-athletes, fans and community to bring in a head coach with his track record of success."
A press conference to formally introduce Bowden will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 5 p.m. ET on the Towpath Credit Union Press Level (floor 7) of InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field. The proceedings will be web cast live through GoZips.com, and also be available on SportsRadio 1350 (WARF) in the Akron area and online via SportsRadio1350.com. "Voice of the Zips" Steve French and long-time UA Athletics personality Joe Dunn will anchor the coverage.
"I'm so excited to be a Zip," Bowden said. "With the great resources and the commitment to winning by the administration and community, it's just a matter of time until we build a championship program."
Bowden will meet with fans at the Zips women's basketball team's game versus Providence on Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. That event will be free of charge. He will also address the crowd at the Dec. 29 men's basketball contest versus VCU, which tips off at 7 p.m. Football season ticket holders will be E-mailed a link to purchase tickets to the VCU game at a special group rate.
In his time at North Alabama, he led the Lions to a 29-9 record and three-consecutive playoff appearances. In 2011, the squad went 9-3 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. He was named Gulf South Conference Co-Coach of the Year in 2009 when the team went 11-2 and won the GSC championship and advanced to the quarterfinals of the playoffs. He followed that in 2010 by guiding the Lions to a 9-4 record and another trip to the playoffs.
As head coach of Auburn, he went 47-17-1 (73.4 winning percentage) and posted the best opening, five-year run of any head football coach in school history. Also during his time with the Tigers, Bowden became the first collegiate coach in 50 years to win his 100th career game by his 40th birthday.
In his first season at AU, he became the first coach in Division I-A (now FBS) history to have an undefeated and untied season in his inaugural year at that level.
Prior to his stint at Auburn, Bowden built two programs from the ground up as head coach at Salem College (W.Va.) and Samford University (Ala.). When he took the job at Salem in 1983 he became the nation's youngest head coach in college football at age 26.
Inheriting a Samford program which had won just six games in three years prior to his arrival, Bowden led the Bulldogs to a 9-1 record his first year, tying the record for the best season in school history. The squad led the nation in total offense (523 yards per game) and scoring offense (51.7 points per game), both national Division III records. The team's 40 touchdown passes were also a national single-season record.
Bowden then engineered and directed Samford's move from non-scholarship Division III football to Division I-AA (now FCS) scholarship football. With only one freshman class on scholarship, the Bulldogs went to a full Division I-AA schedule in 1989. By 1991, Samford was competing for the national championship. His 1991 Samford team had the best record in school history at 12-2, and reached the Division I-AA national semifinals.
Bowden was named head coach at Auburn on Dec. 17, 1992. In 1993, Auburn had a perfect 11-0 record and he swept virtually every national coach of the year award in his rookie season, including Walter Camp, Scripps Howard, Football News, Toyota and the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award presented by the Football Writers Association.
Bowden was again a finalist for coach of the year following his second season at Auburn as the Tigers had reeled off 20-straight wins, an Auburn record, and finished 9-1-1. He posted a 47-17-1 record at Auburn and led the Tigers to three bowl games.
During his time away from coaching, Bowden first served as a studio analyst and color commentator with ABC Sports' college football coverage. He was also an analyst for Westwood One Radio's College Football National Game of Week, co-hosted "The Coaches Show" on Sirius Satellite Radio with Jack Arute, and was the exclusive college football columnist for Yahoo! Sports.
Bowden is a member of one of the most famous and successful college football coaching families. His father, Bobby Bowden, turned Florida State into a national champion and his 389 collegiate wins rank second in Division I history.
His brother Tommy had an 18-4 record in two seasons as head coach at Tulane and a 72-45 record in 10 seasons as head coach at Clemson, taking the Tigers to eight bowl games. His brother Jeff also has 25 years of collegiate coaching experience, working at Salem, Samford, Southern Mississippi, Florida State and most recently at North Alabama, with Terry.
During the decade of the 1990s, Terry, Tommy and Bobby all led their teams to undefeated seasons.