ACC: Terry Bowden

Possible candidates for UNC

July, 28, 2011
7/28/11
9:00
AM ET
We'll know more about which direction North Carolina is headed following today's 11 a.m. press conference, but it's hard not to assume they're going the interim direction. Colleague Bruce Feldman listed some potential candidates for the long-term, and one name appears on both of our lists: Bud Foster. The Hokies' defensive guru has made no secret about the fact he wants to be a head coach, and his name has been tied to several openings in the past. It seems completely unreasonable to think an entirely new staff could come in just two weeks before the start of fall camp, but there will be plenty of speculation as to who will lead the Tar Heels on a permanent basis. I haven't heard anything confirming any names, so consider this a list of possibilities for North Carolina's next coach:

INTERIM

Everett Withers, defensive coordinator: He has 24 seasons of coaching experience at both the collegiate and NFL levels. North Carolina's defense has been in the spotlight under Withers, and what he cobbled together in spite of the NCAA investigations was impressive.

John Shoop, offensive coordinator:He has two decades of coaching experience in both the NCAA and NFL, and has been a coordinator for both. Carolina's offense improved under Shoop, but he's a quirky character who has been given his fair share of heat at times from UNC fans.

Sam Pittman, offensive line coach:The title of associate head coach was added earlier this month, but Pittman has spent the past four seasons coaching the Tar Heels' offensive line. School spokesman Kevin Best said there's not necessarily a correlation between Pittman's recent promotion and the timing of the coaching change.

NEW HIRE

Bud Foster, Virginia Tech defensive coordinator:Give the man a chance, willya?

Randy Shannon, former Miami coach:He knows the ACC, he's a good recruiter, and the timing would work well if an interim were hired this year because Shannon isn't coaching this season. Shannon was reportedly interested in the Maryland job and wants to return to coaching.

Name your Bowden: Terry or Tommy, both have plenty of coaching experience to offer.
Florida State North, er, I mean, North Alabama just got two more transfers in former FSU receiver Jarmon Fortson, who was kicked off the team for a violation of team rules, and Miami defensive end Steven Wesley, who was reportedly dismissed for academic reasons, ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach is reporting.

North Alabama already has six former Florida State Seminoles on its roster, not to mention two from North Carolina, one from NC State and one from Miami. Coach Terry Bowden is looking to move UNA up to the Division I FCS level soon, and stockpiling his roster with former FBS players with several years of eligibility remaining will certainly help his cause. Wesley has one year remaining while Fortson has two.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

FSU fullbacks Marcus Sims and Seddrick Holloway are both taking some time to evaluate their futures at Florida State, offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said on Thursday. Holloway was excused for some personal issues, but neither has been suspended or are in any trouble. They're both just evaluating their futures, what their roles are and where they want to be.

"Marcus is evaluating what he wants to do," Fisher said. "He's making some decisions about himself, too. He's just at a time in his career, so we'll wait and see how it goes."

A source said Sims is considering transferring to North Alabama, where Preston Parker landed after being kicked off the team. It makes sense, as they will play for Bobby Bowden's son, Terry Bowden.

Overall, though, Fisher said he's the most excited about this team since he arrived on campus. He said he loves their work ethic, and he's seeing a whole new attitude.

"You see a group that's tied together," he said. "Our attitude is tremendous. It's the best since I've been here. Now we've got 11 bowl teams to play, so I don't know if that equates to a lot better record, but I like our chances and where we're going. We're going to get there very quickly."

Fisher sounded especially excited about tight end Caz Piurowski, who will be more involved in the passing game this year and should be a much bigger factor now that they don't need him to help out the offensive line. He also pointed out players like Tavares Pressley and Ty Jones who will help the team take the next step.

The receivers, he said, have learned from their mistakes and he's noticed a difference in their attitude. Their grades are up, they're making better decisions and they understand the consequences of their actions.

For more on the Noles today, watch College Football Live at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

From ESPN's Joe Schad:

Former Florida State wide receiver Preston Parker said he plans to play this season for North Alabama, a Division II power coached by former Auburn coach Terry Bowden. Parker led Florida State with 40 catches last season and was second on the team with 372 receiving yards. Parker was dismissed in February after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence. It was Parker's third arrest since 2006. Parker has also played running back and kick returner. Former Nebraska and North Carolina State quarterback Harrison Beck committed to transfer to North Alabama in March.

I'm still in D.C. juggling BCS assignments. If I don't get to the mailblog today, I'll give you two next week, promise.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Yes, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said, Saturday's game at Florida State will be "very awkward."

For the first time in a decade, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will face Swinney instead of his son, former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, when the Seminoles host Clemson on Saturday. The days of the Bowden Bowl are done.

Oh, and it also happens to be Papa Bowden's 79th birthday on Saturday.

"Wow, it's his birthday," Swinney said. "Man, oh man.

"It's been awkward since I've gotten in this role because Tommy Bowden was my first coach in college, and he's a friend and mentor and guy that I love dearly. It's very, very awkward, and Bobby Bowden is one of my heroes. He's one of the good guys in the profession. ... I have all the respect in the world for him. This is a very strange and awkward situation under the circumstances. So yeah, it will be different, but coach Bowden has been in this business a long time. He's a professional. He understands the business. Same thing with Tommy."

Bobby Bowden said he's got no animosity toward Clemson because of his son's departure.

"That would have no bearing whatsoever," he said. "I just want to win the game. If you'd give me one point today, I'd take it. People would think that, that 'Oh, you're gonna really be mad because your son lost his job.' No, I'm not. No, I'm not. He had 10 wonderful years up there at Clemson. He'll tell you that himself. He left there on a good note as far as he was concerned."

Bowden said he and his wife will enjoy the game more now that one of the Bowdens won't have to lose. Tommy Bowden had beaten his father in four of the past five games.

"We like that," Bobby Bowden said. "When Tommy and I play, she can't win. One of us is going to get beat. Plus, I didn't like it either, because I don't like it when he beats me, and when I beat him, I feel for him. I am so happy. It is the first time in 10 years I don't have to worry about Tommy being on the other side whippin' me, or me whippin' him."

Tommy Bowden is again relaxing in Panama City, and has only talked with his father about three or four times since he left Clemson. Unprompted, the elder Bowden insisted that he and his son have not talked about Clemson's personnel. He said Tommy wouldn't dare come by the house to talk about the game, and Bowden wouldn't ask him to.

"I can see where people would think, 'Now coach Bowden, he's really going to get a good scouting report. We study film. Tommy wouldn't dare, Tommy wouldn't dare try to spill the beans on them to me. Those are his kids. He recruited those kids. And he'll pull for those kids. Will he pull for 'em against me? Probably."

On the night Swinney found out he would be Clemson's next head coach, he got a phone call from Terry Bowden.

"He said, 'Look, Dabo, you'll do a good job. I want you to know all the Bowdens are pulling for you,'" Swinney said.

Bobby Bowden, though, will be pulling for his own team on Saturday. Just like he did when Tommy was coaching.

SPONSORED HEADLINES