After three straight 1-11 finishes, Akron rewarded head coach Terry Bowden for the improvement seen in his second year as the Zips coach.
The school announced a two-year extension for Bowden on Thursday, giving him a contract that runs through the 2018 season. Akron is 4-7 entering its season finale against Toledo next week; the four wins match the school's best total since 2008.
The Zips have won three of their last four contests, but even more impressive has been how competitive the team has looked against stronger opponents. Akron held a late lead against Michigan in the fourth quarter but fell 28-24, and hung with still-undefeated Northern Illinois before eventually losing 27-20.