Terry Bowden to coach Akron

Updated: December 22, 2011, 3:41 PM ET
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

There will be a Bowden coaching an FBS college football team again in 2012.

Former Auburn coach Terry Bowden, who guided North Alabama to the NCAA Division II playoffs in each of his three seasons at the school, was named Akron's new coach on Thursday.

Bowden
Bowden

The school will introduce Bowden at a news conference on Dec. 28.

Bowden, 54, hasn't coached at an FBS school since 1998, when he was forced to resign as Auburn's coach. Bowden guided the Tigers to an undefeated season in 1993, but they were ineligible to play in the postseason because of NCAA violations committed under former coach Pat Dye.

Bowden replaces former Akron coach Rob Ianello, who was fired on Nov. 26 after compiling a 2-22 record in two seasons with the Zips.

"I'm so excited to be a Zip," said Bowden, who coached Akron's quarterbacks in 1986 under Gerry Faust. "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."

"We welcome Terry Bowden back to campus. He brings with him an outstanding record of success and a true football coaching pedigree," said school president Dr. Luis M. Proenza. "We know the entire Akron community will support coach Bowden in his mission to cultivate a championship program here."

Akron's program has lacked stability the past few years. The NCAA stripped the school of scholarships in 2008 for failing to comply with graduation rate policies. One of Bowden's first priorities will be making recruiting inroads in Northeast Ohio.

The Bowden family is synonymous with college football. Bobby Bowden guided Florida State to national championships in 1993 and '99 before he was forced to retire after 34 seasons in 2009. Terry Bowden's brother, Tommy, coached at Tulane and Clemson, until he was forced to resign as the Tigers' coach six games into the 2008 season.

Terry Bowden, who played football for his father at West Virginia and earned a law degree from FSU, spent one season as an assistant under Faust in 1986. He also was a head coach at Division III Salem (W.Va.) University and Division I-AA Samford (Ala.).

After Bowden's fast start at Auburn, in which his teams won 20 consecutive games to start his tenure and eight games or more in each of his first five seasons, he was forced to resign after six games in 1998. He had a 47-17-1 record in six seasons with the Tigers.

While Bowden was retired from coaching, he worked as a college football analyst for ABC beginning in 1999 and also worked in radio and as an online columnist.

Bowden had a 29-9 record in three seasons at North Alabama. The Lions lost to Delta (Miss.) State 42-14 in the second round of the Division II playoffs this season.

Bowden inherits an Akron program that hasn't had a winning record since 2005 and has lost 31 of its last 36 games. The Zips last played in a bowl game in 2005, when they finished 7-6 under former coach J.D. Brookhart.

Senior writer Mark Schlabach covers college football for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Mark Schlabach | email

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