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Former Auburn football coach Terry Bowden hired by Louisiana-Monroe



MONROE, La. – ULM announced Bowden’s hire on Wednesday. Contract details are pending.

Bowden, 64, the son of legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, spent the past two seasons at Clemson as a graduate assistant. The former Auburn coach also led programs at Akron, North Alabama, Samford (Ala.) and Salem (W.Va.).

His overall record is 175-114-2 in 25 seasons.

“First of all, I want to thank (ULM) President Dr. Ron Berry and athletic director Scott McDonald for giving me this opportunity to coach at ULM,” Bowden said in a school release. “I got introduced to ULM back after the 2015 season when a contingent flew up to Akron and talked to me about the job. They did a great job of selling me on the potential of this program and the commitment they had to turning it around.

“Although the timing just wasn’t quite right, I did remember feeling that with my success at places like this, and my desire to get back down South to a college town very much like Auburn and Clemson, that this was a perfect place for me to be. I felt then that I was the best guy they could find to build a winner at ULM and I still do.”

Bowden replaces Matt Viator, who was fired after the Warhawks fell to a program-worst 0-10 record. ULM’s final game at Troy on Dec. 17 was canceled because of COVID-19 issues in the program, the third virus-related stoppage of the season.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome Terry Bowden to our Warhawk family as head football coach,” McDonald said. “He brings a winning pedigree to our program. He has won at all levels of college football, beginning as the youngest head coach in the country in his first job at Salem College and continued that through his tenure at Samford and Auburn, where he consistently competed for SEC Championships.

“He followed with success at North Alabama and at Akron, where he led the Zips to their first bowl victory in school history.”

Bowden’s last head-coaching job was at Akron from 2012-18. The Zips went 35-52, played in two bowl games and won the 2017 Mid-American Conference’s East Division.

Akron had its best season under Bowden in 2015, finishing 8-5 and beat Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Bowden inherits a ULM roster decimated by attrition. The Warhawks have lost 24 players to the transfer portal and opt outs since spring practice ended, including second-team All-Sun Belt tight end Josh Pederson.

Josh Johnson, a second-team All-Sun Belt running back in 2019, declared for the NFL Draft on Monday.

“First and foremost, I want to re-recruit the most important people in this program – our current football players,” Bowden said. “I want them to know how valuable they are to our program and that I will do everything I can to help them finish the job they came here to do – build a winner at ULM. I know if we will stick together, care and trust each other and work as hard as we can that good things will happen to this football team.”

Bowden’s first Auburn team finished 11-0 in 1993, earning him several national coach of the year awards. The Tigers were ineligible for the postseason due to NCAA violations committed under former coach Pat Dye.

Auburn won its first 20 games under Bowden and was 47-17-1 in his six seasons. Bowden was forced out after a 1-5 start in 1998, one year removed from winning the SEC West Division.

While out of coaching, Bowden worked for ABC Sports as a college football analyst beginning in 1999. North Alabama lured him back to the sideline prior to the 2009 season.

The Lions went 29-9 and made the Division II playoffs in each of Bowden’s three seasons.