Tommy Bowden's contract to serve as head coach of the Clemson football program has been extended, Athletic Director Dr. Terry Don Phillips announced Tuesday. Specific terms of the contract extension will be announced when the new contract is approved by the Board of Trustees Compensation Committee, but Phillips did say the length of the contract was seven years.
"Tommy Bowden has made us a consistent winner," said Phillips "He has built a firm foundation for this program in all aspects. We continue to have success on the field in terms of wins and losses, and national ranking. We are graduating our players at a rate that ranks among the top BCS programs in the nation, and they are representing the institution in a manner that brings pride to the University. We are continuing to attract top flight student-athletes with strong character.
"While we are pleased with the performance of the program, we know there is another level to reach. We expect to win the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship and play in BCS bowls. With today's agreement we are optimistic Coach Bowden will take us to those goals."
Bowden has had the Clemson program bowl eligible all nine years he has been the head coach of the Tigers and led the program to a winning season eight consecutive years, tied for the longest streak in Clemson history. The Tigers have won at least eight games each of the last three years, the longest streak for the program since the 1986-91 era. A bowl victory would give Clemson 10 wins this year, something the program has not accomplished since the 1990 season. Clemson was 15th in the final BCS rankings.
"I am very excited about this contract extension to serve as Clemson's head football coach, "said Bowden. "Clemson University has become a special place for the Bowden family. Both of my children are proud Clemson graduates and have settled in the area.
"We have made progress, especially the last three years. I am very optimistic about the future of the program. We just completed a nine-win regular season with a team that has 19 underclassmen starters. The administration has made a significant commitment to our facilities with the West End zone project and it continues to have a very positive aspect on recruiting.
"Finally, the support of the Clemson fans is truly amazing. The thrill you feel when you are at the top of the hill is second to none in college football. We know the goal of this program is to win the ACC Championship and play in a BCS Bowl game. Everything is in place to accomplish those goals."
Clemson will return 19 starters in 2008, the most returning starters for the program since the 1981 National Championship team had 20 returning starters. Clemson will return its top two passers, led by second-team All-ACC quarterback Cullen Harper, its top six rushers, led by All-ACC running back James Davis, the number-three rusher in Clemson history, and the top seven receivers, led by All-ACC player Aaron Kelly, the number-four receiver in Clemson history.
Clemson will return 20 of its top 22 tacklers from a defense that ranks in the top 10 in the nation in total defense and pass defense. The list of returning players includes defensive end Phillip Merling and safety Michael Hamlin, who figure to rank among the top defensive players in the nation at their respective positions.
Bowden, a two-time ACC Coach of the Year, has a record of 69-41 for his nine years at Clemson. He is third in Clemson history in total victories and second in wins over top 25 teams with 13. He has a 7-2 record against rival South Carolina. The .778 winning percentage is the best for a Clemson coach against South Carolina among coaches who have served the program at least five years.
Tommy Bowden's Press Conference
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