Tommy the Tiger taking a trip:Bowden out at Clemson

from the
CLEMSON — The second ax has fallen at Clemson, this one on its coach.

Tommy Bowden is out as the team’s coach.

Bowden informed his assistants of the change during a staff meeting this morning, a source said.

Receivers coach Dabo Swinney is expected to serve as the interim coach.

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Athletics director Terry Don Phillips imformed assistant football coaches Monday morning that receivers coach Dabo Swinney would be Clemson’s interim coach.

IPTAY, the school’s athletic fundraising arm, later distributed an e-mail to members reporting Bowden had “agreed” to part ways with the school following two meetings Monday morning with Phillips.

“We agreed that this is the best solution for the direction of the program,” Bowden said in the letter.

Clemson has planned a 5:15 p.m. news conference.

In addition, offensive coordinator Rob Spence has not been retained by Swinney, multiple sources confirmed.

The Tigers were ranked No. 9 in the preseason and voted as the overwhelming favorite to win their first ACC title since 1991.

But they got off to a tumultuous 3-3 start, including a 1-2 ACC record that all but knocks them out of the Atlantic Division title hunt.

Despite having the top three vote-getters in the league’s preseason player of the year voting – quarterback Cullen Harper and running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller – as well as record-setting receiver Aaron Kelly, Clemson has scored one touchdown in the past six quarters of losses to underdog Maryland and Wake Forest.

Criticism of Spence’s play-calling increased as a result, and on Friday, Bowden announced Harper would be benched for Saturday’s noon game against Georgia Tech in favor of redshirt freshman Willy Korn.

It is unclear whether Swinney will opt for Korn or Harper as Saturday’s starter.

Harper was quoted on as saying Bowden got “what he deserved,” but Harper said that statement was taken out of context.

“It’s a tough situation around here,” Harper said. “The season wasn’t going as expected, and people are not happy. Now coach Bowden and coach Spence are out, but we’re going to rally around coach Swinney. We all respect coach Swinney. He brings energy and enthusiasm.

“I just want the opportunity to go out there and win my spot back because I still feel like I’m the guy.”

Harper’s father, Jeff, said Bowden has always had the right to start whichever quarterback he wants to.

“But the bottom line is, my problem was that Cullen wasn’t playing bad. I think Cullen being benched was based more on a popularity move, trying to place the blame on Cullen more so than anything.

“And Tommy’s had a bad reputation of doing that, going all the way back to Mike O’Cain. Throwing somebody under the bus to take the blame. From a leadership standpoint, the leader is the one who takes the bullet. You don’t throw 19-, 20-, 21-year-olds under the bus. But he’s been good at that, and I think it finally caught up to him.”

Attempts to reach Bowden have been unsuccessful.

Tommy Bowden’s record at Clemson:
Year Overall Record Conf./Finish Bowl
1999 6-6 5-3/2nd Peach
2000 9-3 6-2/2nd Gator
2001 7-5 4-4/T-4th Humanitarian
2002 7-6 4-4/T-5th Tangerine
2003 9-4 5-3/3rd Peach
2004 6-5 4-4/T-6th –
2005 8-4 4-4/3rd in Atlantic Division Champs Sports
2006 8-5 5-3/T-2nd in Atlantic Division Music City
2007 9-4 5-3/T-2nd in Atlantic Division Chick-fil-A
2008 3-3 – –
At Clemson 72-45

$$$$$Where is Tommy West when you need him?$$$$$

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