Chat with Tommy Bowden
Having coached in some capacity for over 30 years, Bowden's job at Clemson was his second as a head coach. He finished with a 72-45 record with the Tigers over 10 seasons. He previously spent two seasons at Tulane. His overall coaching record is 90-49 with nine bowl game appearances.
Tommy is the son of legendary Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden. He played college football as a wide receiver for West Virginia.
Send in your questions now and join Bowden at 1 p.m. ET on Friday!
Buzzmaster (12:55 PM)
Coach Tommy Bowden will be here in minutes!
Buzzmaster (1:01 PM)
We've got Tommy!
You probably get this a lot, but are you in favor of a playoff?
Tommy Bowden (1:02 PM)
If it involves the bowls. That's the hard part.
Rick (Annapolis, MD)
You've had a pretty successful coaching family...what's it like to be a part of a family that has had so much success?
Tommy Bowden (1:03 PM)
Well, being in the profession yourself, you have resources of information that really help you along the course of your own career. If I have a problem with a play or media or discipline, having family members who are also successful is a great resource.
What are the family cookouts like in the summer? Are you, your dad and brothers all huddled around talking about plays and football?
Tommy Bowden (1:04 PM)
We used to talk a lot more strategy, the x's and o's, 10 or 15 years ago. Now, it seems to not be as much x and o, as it is to deal with discipline in 2009, media, unhappy alumni, and more philosophical, than actual strategy. Life has become more complicated.
Daniel (Sarasota, FL)
Did you feel pressure growing up to play/coach football? Was there ever a point where you wanted to do something else with your life?
Tommy Bowden (1:05 PM)
No, my father did a good job of not creating any undue pressure to either play or coach football. In fact, it was one of my childhood friend's father who dragged me out of the yard to take me to play organized football. So I was not pressured by either parent to play.
Coach, I think you got some undeserve criticism during your time in Clemson. You did a good job with the teams there. I'm curious, did you ever listen to your critics while you were there? Or at any of your jobs?
Tommy Bowden (1:06 PM)
No. That's one of the things that you learn early in coaching is don't listen to public criticism. It's not that you're not aware of it, but if you end up listening to peole in the stands, you end up sitting next to the people in the stands. I learned at an early age to tune that out. It's been helpful to have a father and brother at the highest level of pressure at the I-A level that they experience the same kind of situations.
You've got to have some inside information...how much longer does your dad coach?
Tommy Bowden (1:07 PM)
I would say he's going to coach one day longer than Joe Paterno. Retirement is not in the vocabulary of my father or coach Paterno. As much as they don't mention the white elephant in the room, the record, they are both very aware that they are the only two that are close to a possible goal that will be set that will never be broken.
Cardinals or Steelers?
Tommy Bowden (1:08 PM)
Defense usually wins championships. Because of that, I'll pick the Steelers.
You've been involved in the game for so long as a coach, when's the last time you actually sat down to watch a game for the enjoyment?
Tommy Bowden (1:09 PM)
Third grade. It's been a long time. I've been coaching for 31 years. I've never had this much free time. It would be before I got into college coaching 31 years ago.
Have you talked to Terry much since he was named coach at Nort Alabama? How excited is he for that challenge?
Tommy Bowden (1:09 PM)
I talked to Terry about once or twice a week. He is very excited and appreciative of the opportunity. He's been out of cocahing for 10 years, he didn'tknow if it would be possible for him to jump back in.
Who do you say would have won an 8 team playoff? I say USC.
Tommy Bowden (1:10 PM)
USC is a good choice, it would not be my choice. I think I'd still pick Florida, based on what they did over the course of 13 games. Though I would love to see a Southern Cal-Florida matchup or a Florida-Texas matchup.
Just wandering, when you coached at Clemson and there was a big game coming up against you dad, what was Thanksgiving dinner like?
Tommy Bowden (1:12 PM)
In this line of work, you're not together at Thanksgiving. The only time it was discussed during our Summer vacation. We talk once or twice a week during the season, the game always brought on a unique feeling. It's very uncommon that you coach on Saturday and look across the field and see your father on the other side knowing tha tyou have to beat him to keep your job. The conversations about the game usually came during the summer.
Will we see you on the sidelines any time soon?
Tommy Bowden (1:12 PM)
I'm enjoying my free time now. I was not aware that there was life after football. So, we'll see what happens in the next 6-7 months as far as what the future might hold.
What kind of memories do you still have from your playing days at West Virginia?
Tommy Bowden (1:14 PM)
I really enjoyed my playing experience at West virginia. The last year that I started was my father's last year at WVU and we played in the Peach Bowl. My memories that I have were very memorable and it's a time that I'll never forget.
What was the toughest place to play in the ACC?
Tommy Bowden (1:15 PM)
I'd say it would be a tie between Blacksburg and Tallahassee. Both environements were very electric and their fans were very passionate which created a great environment on gameday. Plus both teams were well coached and always had great players.
Will J (Portland, OR)
What occupation would you be doing if you never became a head football coach?
Tommy Bowden (1:16 PM)
It would have probably been some type of sales. I enjoy being around people.
What was it like seeing your father be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame?
Tommy Bowden (1:17 PM)
It was a very proud moment, because it's such a select group of individuals that achieve that level of success. Knowing that my father has been rewarded in the public arena for the work he's done for college athletes was very special.
Tommy Bowden (1:18 PM)
Thanks for everybody that participated in this live chat today. It's your passion for the sport for college football that makes it such a special pleasure to be a part of it as a coach. Have a good weekend.