COACHING SEARCH: Terry Bowden

If name recognition is the direction the University of Memphis search committee wants to go, there may not be a bigger family coaching name than "Bowden."

If name recognition is the direction the University of Memphis search committee wants to go, there may not be a bigger family coaching name than "Bowden."

And there happens to be a member of the Bowden family that's expressed past interest in the Memphis job: Terry Bowden.

Bowden, the North Alabama coach, is one of the bigger names on the market that would consider taking the Memphis job. In fact, he lobbied for it in 2009 before Memphis decided to hire Larry Porter.

The son of former Florida State coaching legend Bobby Bowden, Terry has established himself on most levels of college football. He took over Samford University in 1987, which at the time was a non-scholarship program in Division III, and brought it to the Division I-AA level. Bowden was 46-22-1 while at Samford.

In 1993, Bowden took the head coaching job at Auburn and made history, becoming the first coach ever to lead his team to an undefeated season in his first season at a university. He was named to several Coach of the Year awards that season.

Bowden's record with Auburn was 47-16-1 before he resigned for a variety of reasons, including recruiting woes and off-the-field issues. Bowden resigned when his 1998 team got off to a 1-5 start.

Still, for Memphis, it would be a good move to hire Bowden. He's proven he can win at any level in college football. He could sell the program. He brings baggage, but Bowden is one of the best possible hires Memphis can make.

Why Bowden makes sense: His last name, obviously, is enough to make a splash. He's got an extensive coaching resume and he knows how to win. As he's held jobs with several media outlets, as well, Bowden knows how to speak and deliver a message. He could be one of Memphis' biggest ambassadors.

Why Bowden can't work: He brings a lot of baggage. Memphis doesn't need to hire a coach who's had trouble in recruiting. Memphis needs an elite recruiter, being that it's surrounded by SEC powers like Arkansas and Tennessee. Bowden would need to compete with BCS schools, and if he had troubles at Auburn, there's no telling how tough the sledding could get for him at Memphis on the recruiting trail.


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