Bowden Used to Pressure

PINEHURST, N.C. – Once again Clemson head football coach Tommy Bowden is on the proverbial hotseat, at least according to the national and some local media.

But like all the times in the past, he is able to make light of the situation.

Very rarely does Bowden show any emotion, worry or anger from all the discussion. In fact, he seemingly always uses a joke to dismiss any notion he is going to be fired with a poor season.

Take for instance the latest criticism of Bowden by a national publication. Sports Illustrated named him as one of the five worst college football coaches in the country.

For Bowden, it was no big deal – at least that's what he shows.

"My answer to that is the guy writes for Sports Illustrated and I've always wanted to be in Sports Illustrated," he quipped. "So, hey, I'm in there. I mean, who doesn't want to be in Sports Illustrated. It's kind of humorous. I could name worse guys than me."

Being able to poke fun of the speculation and rumors comes naturally to Bowden. After all, he's watched his father and Florida State coach Bobby Bowden go through the exact same thing for 55 years.

"I think a lot of my demeanor and personality and how I talk with (the media) I got from him," Tommy Bowden said. "We seem to handle things with a sense of humor.

"It's awfully important what I do. It's very important. It's a huge priority, but it's not the priority. With a lot of guys, it is the priority. With a lot of guys, it's number one. I think (my faith) has a lot to do with reacting the way I do."

Bowden doesn't even let the fact that he wasn't given a contract extension bother him. He currently has four years remaining on a seven-year deal. Most coaches like to keep that contract at five years so they can show the recruits that they will be there with them at the school the entire time.

But Bowden said getting an extension wouldn't have been the right thing to do.

"I signed a seven-year contract and have four left," he said. "I think that's pretty normal. Eight wins, losing four out of five, I wouldn't have (renegotiated either). So, I thought everything was pretty normal."

But if his contract isn't extended after this season, then it could become a concern.

"We've got a whole other conversation then," he said with a laugh, as one would expect.

That legendary Bowden humor and sense of ease has even infiltrated his wife, Linda.

According to him, Linda doesn't let negative talk about her husband get to her emotionally.

"We dated seven years before we got married and she watched (my father) go through the 4-7 year at West Virginia when he about got fired," Bowden said. "So, she went into the profession with open eyes. She's been there for 30 years and 11 moves. I've got a pretty good wife. But again, her priorities are pretty much like mine."

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