Be sure to look below to read the updates to the story as they happen…
Tommy Bowden has been relieved of his duties as Clemson’s head football coach, effective immediately, Tigerillustrated.com has learned. Bowden told assistant coaches moments ago in a staff meeting.
We talked about this in detail on Friday in a comprehensive entry that includes a great list of potential candidates for replacement.
The more I think about this the more I see the same strategy that UNC-CH implemented in their firing of John Bunting almost two years ago — By firing Bunting as early as they did, Carolina enjoyed “first mover advantage” in the coaching market and therefore had the benefit of exploring options before other schools who ultimately lost their coaches at year end. It worked fantastically well for the Tarheels who most certainly would have not been able to hire Butch Davis later in the year when the Alabama job opened.
Like a quarterback with an infinite amount of time to sit in the pocket to check through progressions, Clemson will now have plenty of time to make private overtures to a host of candidates without having to work under any kind of pressure-filled time table.
Update #1: Assistant head coach Dabo Swinney will take over the team for the remainder of the team’s season.Update #2: Dabo Swinney didn’t waste any time making the program his own (for at least the rest of this season). Swinney fired offensive coordinater, Rob Spence today.
Just got it confirmed that interim head coach Dabo Swinney has fired offensive coordinator Rob Spence.
Athletic director Terry Don Phillips gave Swinney the option to retain Spence or let him go. Spence, who was in his fourth season with the Tigers, left the McFadden Building about a half-hour ago.
Update #3: This kind of stuff from Mike Tirico is typical media crap that pisses me off and I’m not even a Clemson fan. ‘Block C’ came back with a good retort.
Update #4: Sounds like Tommy Bowden elected to walk away with a $3.5 million buyout. Word out of Clemson is that Bowden had the option to stay and try to save his job with (1) a run at an ACC Championship game appearance and (2) some mandatory staff changes. His decision to walk took the administration a bit by surprise.
Clemson fans will give kudos to the administration for pulling the trigger early, but someone should be asking why Bowden received such a large extension and buyout at the end of last year when it was obvious that a legitmiate possibility existed for him to be fired this year — let alone for him to be fired at midseason.
Why didn’t the Clemson administration simply let Bowden go to Arkansas last year and save themselves millions of dollars and lots of public relations issues? Bowden cannot be that coveted at Clemson if they are willing to let him go after 6 games this year and a .500 record.
Bowden has a decade-long track record at Clemson – how can this 3-3 record be that much of a shock? Clemson is playing below their talent level, but that has been a hallmark of just about every Bowden season at Clemson. Which begs the question, with that kind of track record, why did the Clemson administration give him an unnecessary large extension and buyout last year?
Update #5: The general thought in Clemson is that Dabo Swinney is auditioning for the job and if the Tigers can turn around their season then Swinney could be hired permanently. Although I hear really good things about Swinney’s future as a head coach, I can’t help but think that general philosophy for a major Division One program is a mistake. Can you say Mike O’Cain? Carl Torbush? Bill Stewart?
Update #6: Pat Forde’s thoughts.
Update #7: Bobby Bowden discusses his son being fired
â€œOh, heâ€™ll handle it good,â€ Bobby Bowden said. â€œTommyâ€™s not like me. You know, I mean he was one of those guys that was thinking a couple of years down the road anyway [heâ€™d get out of coaching].â€
While he talked with reporters, the elder Bowden seemed at peace that his son no longer had to deal with questions about his job security, and the pressures that surrounded Tommy Bowden while Clemson went from pre-season favorite to mid-season disappointment.
You may want to keep your eyes on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Recruiting Blog over the next few days — it looks like things are melting down a bit for Tiger recruiting:
Clemson lost two of its top 2009 commitments within hours of coach Tommy Bowdenâ€™s resignation on Monday, according to TigerIllustrated.com.
Defensive back Craig Loston of Aldine, Texas, who was ranked as countryâ€™s No. 21 overall prospect by Scout, told the website he is finished with Clemson and will likely decide between Texas, LSU, Oregon.
Safety DeVonte Holloman of Rock Hill, S.C., has also backed off his commitment to Clemson. He said heâ€™s looking at South Carolina and LSU.
Parting Wolfpackshot — Clemson’s offensive line has been significantly impacted by injuries this year that has obviously thrown the Tigers offense out of sync. Could you imagine the voracity and volume of excuses that would be recited by the NC State Sunshine Squad – the folks who think that anything that happens at NC State is the right decision – in a similar situation? Oh wait…sure you can.