Terry Don Phillips Press Conference Audio

<img src=http://media.TheInsiders.com/Media/Other/31_ah-1.GIF> Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips met with the media Tuesday afternoon at the McFadden Auditorium to discuss Tommy Bowden's three-year contract extension. Bowden will be set at Clemson University through the year 2010.

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Terry Don Phillips Opening Remarks
"Statistically, our team showed improvement in almost every area. What's exciting though is what is coming back. We have 16 underclassmen starters and 57 returning lettermen next year. We have an extremely bright future and that's what brings us to today's press conference. We want to make a clear statement about how we feel about Coach Bowden. Coach Bowden wants to be at Clemson and Clemson wants Coach Bowden."

"This is an exciting moment because we are moving forward. One of the great things about Clemson is the passion and the expectations of the program. But realistically, other schools that we have recruited against have been very competitive with what they've been able to do off the field. There's no question that coaching is the most critical component and that's why this announcement today is so important. We've got the guy we want."

Tommy Bowden Remarks
"He pretty much said it all. Clemson is a place that I kind of eyeballed early in my coaching career. I had determined at that point in time that this was a job that I'd like to stay at and also retire. I had opportunities to leave last year and this year that were more financially more attractive, but this is where I'd like to stay. That's all I'll say about that."

"The biggest thing that we needed at this point in the time was our ability to recruit. If you look at our season, we are a player or two away from a BCS game and 3 to 4 million dollar pay off. Recruiting is the name the game right now. We are literally an interception, a sack, a catch, from a BCS bowl game. That's how close we are. The university right now is doing the things to get those one or two guys to get us over the hump. Having success on national TV, like we did, there's a lot of momentum."

Is there a sense of relief to get this deal done?
"I start pretty early every morning on the phone, so recruiting is going full speed right now and we are also under bowl preparations, so we've got a lot on our mind right now. 5 years ago I sat here with the thought that I'd like to retire here. Now, it's more like that is going to happen. I don't think it's really a sense of relief, it's more like a comfort zone that the administration fully supports what we are doing."

Why no raise?
"The raise wasn't beneficial to recruiting. Recruiting is the #1 key. Whether I got a raise or not did not have a factor in recruiting."

You talked about being a couple of players on recruiting, which positions are you looking at in-state this year?
David Blackwell is our recruiting coordinator, and we have a specific number that is desired at each position. We feel really good about now with both in-state and local talent. That number will always vary if we can get a great player. David and I talked this morning, and all the coaches go through David, and we do have good numbers in the state this year.

Why is the contract extension so important to recruiting?
It's difficult when you walk in to a home, and they think the coach is only going to be there for another year. A young man is going to make 3 big decisions in his life, one is marriage, one is buying a house, and the other is going to college. You want to be able to look their parents in the eyes and let them know that you are going to take care of them for the 4 or 5 years that they are going to be at Clemson.

Were you given any assurances about your assistant coaches returning.
Yes, if I choose so.

Will any of them be leaving this year?
Not to my knowledge.

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