The Upper Cumberland Chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes will conduct its annual banquet Thursday, March 21, at the Leslie Towne Center in Cookeville. Music and the silent auction will begin at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5:45 p.m.
Noel Cherry, the Upper Cumberland’s FCA Director announced, “This year’s speaker will be former Clemson University head football coach Tommy Bowden, son of legendary football coach Bobby Bowden.”
Cherry went on to say that “Coach Bowden’s messages are inspirational, humorous and about the game of life, while mixing in some football."
Before Clemson University, Bowden was the head coach at Tulane University and an assistant at the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Duke University, the University of Kentucky, East Carolina University and, with his father, at Florida State University. His 1998 Tulane squad went 12-0 and achieved a top-10 final ranking in both polls.
Bowden was hired as Clemson’s head coach before the 1999 season. Bowden’s Clemson teams went to a bowl game every year he coached there, except in 2004, when, after a brawl with rival South Carolina, both teams agreed to decline any invitation to a bowl game for that year. He resigned on Oct. 13, 2008, after leading the team to a disappointing 3-3 record (1-2 ACC) at the midpoint of a season in which the Tigers had been an almost unanimous preseason pick to win their first ACC title under Bowden, and were ranked number nine in the preseason polls. Assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Dabo Swinney was named as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
He has 90 career victories and his teams have made nine bowl appearances. He has two sisters and three brothers, including Terry, the head coach at the University of Akron, and Jeff who serves as an assistant to Terry.
Early response to this year's banquet is brisk, and all indications suggest a sell-out. Other activities will include a “pre-banquet” coaching clinic hosted by Coach Bowden and Watson Brown of Tennessee Technological University, a silent auction, and a live auction. For more information about the banquet contact Deana Persson by phone at 931-372-2123, or via. E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.