Terry Bowden has made the same dramatic entrance into the broadcasting industry as he did as a head coach in college football. He quickly became one of the top studio analysts in college football, co-hosting television's most distinguished studio show on ABC Sports. In 2004 Terry switched from the studio to a game analyst where his knowledge of the game and ability to breakdown a play will be maximized. Whether in the booth on or sitting beside John Saunders at ABC's New York City studio, his energy and insight are captivating viewers all over the country.
Although Terry Bowden's bright future is firmly planted in network television, it all began walking the sidelines as a head football coach. Looking back to those years tells you two things about Terry - number one, he's a winner; and number two, don't ever underestimate him.
As a college football coach, Bowden was enormously successful, compiling a 15 year record of 111-53-2 and an impressive winning percentage of 68%. As head coach of the Auburn Tigers, he won 73% of his games and posted the best opening five-year run of any head football coach in school history.
Prior to becoming head football coach at Auburn, Bowden built two programs from the ground up as head coach at Salem College and Samford University. As the nation's youngest head coach at age 26, it didn't take long for winning to become Terry Bowden's trademark.
For Terry Bowden, the next step was inevitable. It came on Dec. 17, 1992 when he was named head coach at Auburn. Auburn president Dr. William V. Muse called Bowden the perfect choice to lead Auburn Football into the 21st Century. Terry Bowden's first bio as head football coach at Auburn began: "At 36, Terry Bowden, one of the youngest coaches in Division I-A football, is poised on the threshold of greatness."
No one knew how close greatness was. Yet, five months after that first bio was written, Terry Bowden had accomplished a feat that no other Division IA coach had ever accomplished. He had gone undefeated and untied in his first year as a Division IA head coach, a perfect 11-0.
Bowden swept virtually every national coach of the year award in his rookie season including Walter Camp, Scripps Howard, Football News, Toyota and the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award presented by the Football Writers Association. He was again a finalist following his second season at Auburn. By the end of his second season on the Plains, the Tigers had reeled off 20 straight wins, an Auburn record. Also during his helm at Auburn, Bowden became the first college coach in 50 years to win his 100th career game by his 40th birthday.
He was born into the most famous and successful college football family. His father, Bobby Bowden, turned Florida State into a national champion, his brother Tommy is head coach at Clemson, brother Jeff is the offensive coordinator at Florida State and brother-in-law Jack Hines is an assistant coach at Clemson. Terry Bowden certainly did his part to add luster and glory to the first family of college football.
Renowned as one of the brightest young minds in college football, joined ABC Sports as the college football studio analyst in August of 1999. He continued on to his own daily ESPN Radio Show in Central Florida, weekly Coaches Show on Sirius Satellite Radio, analyst for the National College Football Game of the Week on Westwood One Radio, as well as featured columnist for Yahoo! Sports.com.
Terry Bowden has been ultra-successful as a student, an athlete, and a college football coach. He is a much sought after motivational speaker. The qualities that have made him successful throughout his life - enthusiasm, contagious optimism, confidence and work ethic - are the same qualities that he now relies on as a network television studio analyst for college football.
It All Starts With Loyalty
You Can Make a Difference
A man was walking down the beach and noticed that there were thousands of star fish all across the sand that had crawled out of the ocean due to the red tide. Although the water had cleared, the sun was taking its toll and the starfish were drying up and dying. As the man continued to walk down the beach, he noticed that another man walking in front of him was bending over every now and then to pick something up, and each time that he did he got a little closer. Finally, the man caught up with the other fellow and asked what he was doing. The man said that the star fish were dying in the sun and that he was putting them back in the water. “But there are millions of them. What kind of difference do you think you can make?” To that, the man bent over and picked up another star fish, tossed it into the water and said, “Well, I guess I made a difference to that one.” Each of us has the ability…no, the obligation…to make a difference in the lives of others. So often we want to pat ourselves on the back when we do something special even for our own children. However, true success comes from making a difference in someone else’s child…or more importantly, in a child you don’t even know. I call it planting shade trees under which you’ll never sit.
Motivating the Benchwarmers
I knew my father (Bobby Bowden, the winningest coach in college football) was going to be a great football coach twenty-five years ago. We were sitting around the Thanksgiving table and he said, “I’m so disappointed that I don’t have any grandsons that I’ve created a trust and I’ve put $100,000 in that trust and I’m going to put that trust in the name of the first one of my children that provides me with a grandson.” Then he said, “Let’s bow for a word of prayer”…and when he looked up….. we were all gone. Now that’s motivation! You don’t need to motivate that top salesman any more than you do the star running back. Those guys were born to win. If you want to build a winner then you better find a way to inspire the back up lineman, the walk-on, and the guy who never gets off the bench. Those are the guys who are ultimately going to get you over the top. I call it the But For Rule. Getting each and every person in the organization to believe that but for their effort, but for their ability, but for their very job, we can not be successful.
Win With Teamwork
Being a winner is not always about having the best players, but having the players that play their best together. Teamwork is the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organized objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. You can throw money at all your problems if you want, but it doesn’t cost one thin dime to motivate each and every person within your organization to be their very best. Ultimately, it’s about getting our eleven to play better than their eleven.
Audacity: The Belief You Can Accomplish Anything
No leader has ever accomplished anything great without audacity. If a leader is filled with high ambition and he pursues his aims with audacity and strength of will, he will reach them in spite of all obstacles. After our undefeated season at Auburn University in 1993, I asked our football team what they wanted to accomplish in 1994. Every single young man said they wanted to go undefeated again. My first impression was that this was crazy – nobody wins every game two years in a row. Then I thought again. This was not crazy …it was audacity!
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