A Family Tradition: Zips hope Bowden name continues success

Story posted September 2, 2014 in CommRadio, Sports by Ryan Stevens

A leader is a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don’t want to do, and like it.

Akron Head Coach Terry Bowden, now in his third year at the helm, has learned from one of the greatest to ever walk the sidelines in college football. His father, former Florida State Head Coach, Bobby Bowden gave Terry his start in coaching as a Graduate Assistant during the 1982 season.

The Bowden name, led by the illustrious coaching resumes, resonates not only in locker rooms, but across the entire country. Everyone has taken notice of the Bowden coaching success.

Bobby not only holds the lead for most wins in the household, but he is also the all-time wins leader in FBS history with 377. Tommy, the oldest of the Bowden brothers, has a 90-49 career record with previous stints at Tulane and Clemson.

Terry, however, is out to make his own name protrude throughout college football. In doing so, it will require the help from another Bowden as well as “family friends”.

Jeff Bowden is the only brother that has yet to become a head coach. He serves as the Special Teams Coordinator for the Zips after assistant coaching stints with Florida State, North Alabama, Salem College and Samford.

Defensive Coordinator Chuck Amato served as a longtime assistant under Bobby Bowden at Florida State as well. Amato later delved into the head coaching ranks for seven years at North Carolina State.

During his time in Raleigh, the Wolfpack tallied a 49-37 record.  Amato led NC State to five bowl game appearances and their highest AP ranking since 1974 during the 2004 campaign.

It was no secret what led the Wolfpack charge in 2004; defense. Under Amato’s direction, NC State led the country in total defense averaging just over 221 yards per game. The same hard-nosed philosophy he had always instilled at Florida State.

Among the personnel Amato overlooked during his time in Raleigh, some stuck out on the defensive line more than others.

Defensive end Mario Williams, the 2006 overall top pick, Manny Lawson and John McCargo were all a part of the Amato’s final graduating class and all were first round selections.

It would only make sense that the tandem of Terry Bowden and Amato will bolster the Akron defense moving forward. In 2013, four Zips were named All-MAC selections and the defense finished third in the conference in total defense. And in just two seasons, the Zips jumped from 104th nationally in total defense in 2012 to 60th in 2013.

Terry Bowden and Chuck Amato are more than names trying to rebuild yet another program. They are leaders showing the best way to glory because they’ve seen what it takes.

Ryan Stevens is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email rvs5276@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

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Ryan Stevens

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Ryan is a senior from Bloomington, Illinois majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in english.  He has been involved with numerous radio shows, play-by-plays, beat writes and producing various Penn State athletics events since his first days of being on campus in the fall of 2012 with ComRadio. Since the fall of 2013, Ryan has been involved with State College’s ESPN Radio 1450 as an assistant producer intern and high school football reporter.

During the summer of 2014, Ryan co-hosted Sports Central with Cory Giger streaming over Altoona, Pa. and State College Pa. markets. Ryan also assisted USA Basketball media coverage in New York for World Cup of Basketball exhibition games.

Ryan was the marketing & communications intern for USA Track & Field at the national office in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was the media contact for the 2015 USATF Hershey Youth Outdoor Championships as well as the 2015 National Junior Olympics.

Ryan is also a member of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. He can be reached via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and following him on twitter @RyanAStevens.