Former Auburn and Akron coach Terry Bowden is heading to the Clemson football staff as a 63-year-old graduate assistant. The news was first reported by TigerNet and has been confirmed by multiple outlets. The Charlotte Observer reports that Bowden is pursuing a Master's Degree in athletic leadership at Clemson, and his position on the staff is that of an unpaid graduate internship.
Throughout American pop culture history, there have been films centered around middle-aged people going back to college with comedic hijinks ensuing. Why, who could forget Rodney Dangerfield in "Back to School," or Scott Bakula in the college football cult classic "Necessary Roughness"? Bowden's latest coaching move, in a sense, is life imitating art.
Bowden comes to Clemson to get a degree after spending the last seven seasons coaching Akron. He went 39-60 with the Zips and guided them to two bowl games -- which might not seem like much, but those 39 wins are second all-time at Akron. Of course, Bowden is best-known for his six seasons coaching Auburn. He went 47-17-1 with the Tigers, including an 11-0 season in 1993 and finished No. 4 in the final AP poll behind three one-loss teams. The No. 1 team that year was 12-1 Florida State, which happened to be coached by Bowden's father Bobby Bowden.
The Bowden name is familiar at Clemson for more than the school's rivalry with Bobby Bowden and the Seminoles, however. Terry's brother Tommy Bowden coached Clemson for a decade from 1999-2008, going 72-45.