Bowden out at Clemson

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COLUMBIA – Tommy Bowden is out as Clemson’s football coach.

Bowden and the school split Monday in the middle of his 10th season, which started with the Tigers ranked No. 9 and picked to win the Atlantic Coast Conference. But an opening 34-10 rout by Alabama and recent losses to Maryland and Wake Forest raised calls again for Bowden’s ouster despite a recent contract extension.

The school appointed receivers coach Dabo Swinney the interim head coach. A news conference was scheduled for Monday afternoon.

“I appreciate the opportunity Clemson University gave me and the support of the administration while I was here,” Bowden said in a statement released by the school. “I also want to thank all the players and coaches who worked so hard for this program the last 10 years. I wish Clemson University nothing but the best in the future.”

He did not immediately return a message.

Clemson went 72-45 (43-32 ACC) and made eight bowl appearances under Bowden, who was honored as ACC coach of the year in 1999 and 2003. But the son of storied football coach Bobby Bowden seemed unable to meet expectations.

Bobby Bowden said Monday his son “felt like it was fixin’ to happen; he felt like it was inevitable.”

On Monday, Tommy Bowden had two meetings with athletic director Terry Don Phillips and “we agreed that this is the best solution for the direction of the program,” Bowden said in the statement.

An athletic department official told The Associated Press that Phillips first told Bowden that he expected the Tigers to play in the ACC title game, or changes would be made at the top of the football program. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity before the announcement, said Bowden met again with Phillips and told the athletic director that he should make the change now.

It was not immediately clear whether the school will have to buy out Bowden’s contract. Under the extension Bowden signed this year, which tied him to the school until 2014, Clemson would have to pay him $4 million if he was fired.

The departure ends a season of harsh criticism for Bowden, who on Friday announced he was switching quarterbacks from Cullen Harper to Willy Korn. The displeasure of the Tiger faithful was familiar.

In 2000, the Tigers started 8-0 and rose to fifth in the country, only to lose three of their final four games. Four years later, Clemson followed its nine-win 2003 with a 1-4 start.

Two years ago, the Tigers looked like the class of ACC. They opened 7-1, only to go on a 1-4 closing slide that included an unexpected, 13-12 home loss to Maryland.

Clemson won nine games last season and, with experienced skill players on offense, figured to be the league’s powerhouse this fall. Harper was picked this summer as favorite to win the ACC player of the year and the Tigers to win their first league crown since 1991.

“He’s thankful for the experience he got there at Clemson,” Bobby Bowden said. “He has no hard feelings towards them. This is just the nature of this game right now. He’s disappointed but he’s got his priorities in order in his life so he’ll move on and won’t lose a minute of sleep over it. At least I don’t have to worry about him beating me again.”

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Top Notch
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Top Notch 10/13/08 - 01:07 pm
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Holy Smokes

Holy Smokes

voiceofconcern
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voiceofconcern 10/13/08 - 01:11 pm
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bout time. Bowden was always

bout time.
Bowden was always riding Dad's coattails.
now let's fire Tommy Tubberville in Tiger Town, Ala.
We need to stop the goodOleBoy coaching network. If you fail to win, you must go, and stop receiving all those big bux.
if you don't win, you must go. And UT's Phil Fulmer better watch his back too. So far, Markie Rich is doing quite well at UGA. He's safe, for now.

142
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Dan White 10/13/08 - 01:29 pm
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What a shame! Bowden is a

What a shame! Bowden is a class act and a proven winner. What happened to patience. I remember Bear Bryant having a few bad years inbetween good years. The only criticism I have for Bowden is promising that all world freshman back to have the first play of the season and then he fumbled against Alabama. His quarterback, pre-season player of the year, had an awful 6 games and Bowden was going to start the young quarterback Saturday. Now, the whole program is in disarray. Firing the Mets coach didn't help them get into the playoffs. Bowden Should have been allowed to finish out the season.

SHOCKER1
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SHOCKER1 10/13/08 - 01:37 pm
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Ouch! Hate to see the payout

Ouch! Hate to see the payout Clemson's going to have to fork over for this one.

imdstuf
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imdstuf 10/13/08 - 01:41 pm
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Voice, you forgot Syracuse's

Voice, you forgot Syracuse's head coach. He has got to be at the top of the firing list. Now I wonder if Bobby Patrino will be running to Clemson with his resume in hand. We know he likes to move around. Tony Franklin is available lol

PTHS2
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PTHS2 10/13/08 - 01:50 pm
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It looks like his players

It looks like his players pretty much turned on him - - http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3641028

AUGFOOTBALL
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AUGFOOTBALL 10/13/08 - 02:18 pm
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The payout is 4 million. And

The payout is 4 million. And well worth it. Patience???? 10 years is long enough. We were sick of the mediocrity that was put on the field year in and year out.

abonda
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abonda 10/13/08 - 02:32 pm
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What makes you think Clemson

What makes you think Clemson had to pay? The alumni were sick to death of him.

ugadawgbite
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ugadawgbite 10/13/08 - 03:56 pm
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Like at UGA, they had three

Like at UGA, they had three coaches on the payroll at once(Goff,Dunnan,and Richt). With the players they have at clemson, and the money that comes in that school, if your losing your out!!!

steve-o
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steve-o 10/13/08 - 04:10 pm
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Looks like spurrier may be

Looks like spurrier may be heading to upstate Scar. Bwaa haaa!

owensjef2
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owensjef2 10/13/08 - 04:26 pm
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That football team has a lot

That football team has a lot of talent

Niko Mahs
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Niko Mahs 10/13/08 - 06:57 pm
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How about them Terps! Not

How about them Terps! Not only a better football school; but a better institution of higher learning as well.

Leroy
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Leroy 10/13/08 - 10:27 pm
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Since when is Maryland a

Since when is Maryland a better football school? They may have beaten Clemson this year, but Clemson owns that matchup historically. If Maryland's that good, why did they lose to Middle Tennessee State? Also, I don't think people go around saying "I sure wish I could go to school at Maryland." They may have a good school, but outside of Maryland, people aren't clamoring to go there. Stick to your crab cakes and stay out of the south.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 10/13/08 - 10:51 pm
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It was time for Bowen to go.

It was time for Bowen to go. I would have liked to see him go at the end of last season. He and Clemson have had enough of each other. I'd like to see him move to the Big 12 or one of the mid-major schools. He's a fine coach and will do well wherever he goes.

tonytonytony
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tonytonytony 10/14/08 - 01:07 am
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He got fired because the

He got fired because the farmers at clumson wanted corn put in at qb at the start of the year. Seems fitting to have a qb named corn at a farmers school.

Niko Mahs
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Niko Mahs 10/14/08 - 09:02 am
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Leroy, the terps lost to

Leroy, the terps lost to Middle Tennessee State because of the same reason that Clemson lost to the Terps. They were over confident. It's lucky that Clemson does not play Middle Tennessee State! Maryland is a great school, just a subway ride away from our nation's capital. And the crab cakes do not have filler, like they do in the south. And I will take them over fried chicken any day. And watch the Terps beat Wake this weekend, something else Clemson could not do. I will stay up North too, just please don't invade us again. We will have to retreat to the upper reaches of Vermont in the winter and then watch the Confederates freeze. Just like the Russians did to Napoleon in 1812. Then we would win Civil War II by default.

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