NCF Nation: Bowden out

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Clemson interim head coach Dabo Swinney will go with backup quarterback Willy Korn this weekend against Georgia Tech. Swinney also made several staff changes -- the most notable being the dismissal of offensive coordinator Rob Spence. Swinney said he and Billy Napier will call the plays.

Check back tomorrow for more from Swinney's press conference.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Tommy Bowden was not fired, Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips said at Monday's press conference. He met with Bowden this morning and said "it was coach Bowden that put this on the table."

"He said, 'Well, in looking at things and the cloud that is over the program now, we've got recruiting issues, we've got morale issues,'" Phillips said. "He said there just comes a time when the time is probably right to step aside. He put that on the table, we discussed that and he made the offer to step aside for the good of the program. I accepted that offer and that's why we're in here today."

Phillips said his intention was not to ask for Bowden's resignation at their meeting this morning and "certainly not to fire our head football coach."

However, Phillips made the program's goals clear -- win the 2008 ACC title, a feat that is much more difficult to accomplish now that the Tigers have had back-to-back losses to Maryland and Wake Forest. Phillips said when he gave the contract extension to Bowden last season, he did so looking ahead to the potential this year's team had.

"I thought given the players we had returning, our schedule and really looking at the strength of the conference, that this was a wonderful opportunity where we could get over that hump," Phillips said. "Obviously that hasn't worked out for us."

Phillips is convinced, though, that it still can.

A source said Phillips told the football staff this morning that Dabo Swinney was going to be the interim head coach the rest of the way, and if it went as well as he thought it would, that his decision on the head coach at the end of the year would be "easy."

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Tommy Bowden is out at Clemson, and it should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to what Clemson hasn't done this season.

 
 Brian Schneider/US Presswire
 Tommy Bowden is out at Clemson after the Tigers started the season 3-3.

In fact, if you're Jeff Harper, father of benched Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper, you might even call it "karma."

There was no reason to prolong this decision, not after the loss to Wake Forest all but knocked the Tigers out of the running for the program's first ACC title since 1991, and not after Bowden demoted Harper in an attempt to appease the fans and save face.

Tommy Bowden lost his team long before he lost his job.

"I enjoyed playing for coach Bowden and I liked him, but in the end he was yelling at us to be leaders and it wasn't working," running back C.J. Spiller told ESPN's Joe Schad. "He did all he could to motivate us, but guys weren't buying into what he was saying.

"He let the offensive coordinator [Rob Spence] run the show and we got away from me and James [Davis]," Spiller said. "I think part of the problem was when he benched Cullen. Some people wanted the offensive coordinator fired, he fired the quarterback and then he got fired."

Bowden is not a bad football coach, but he is not a great manager. He had nothing to do with the play calling. Maybe he should have. He refused to make staff changes. So he became the change.

(Read full post)

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