Terry Bowden is getting back into coaching – at Division II North Alabama.
Bowden, 52, has been a football broadcaster and commentator – including writing for Yahoo! Sports – since stepping down as Auburn's coach during the 1998 season. He officially will be introduced as North Alabama's new coach at a New Year's Day news conference at the school, in Florence, Ala.
The Lions are a Division II powerhouse; they've won three national titles and have been to the playoffs in each of the past four seasons.
Bowden, who will be the eighth coach in school history, replaces Mark Hudspeth. Hudspeth, who was 66-21 in seven seasons, stepped down in early December to become an assistant at Mississippi State under new coach Dan Mullen. Bowden takes over a program that has made 14 playoff appearances since 1980; the Lions' 26 postseason wins are the most by any current Division II school.
Bowden is 111-53-2 in his 15 seasons as a coach. He began his head-coaching career at Salem (W.Va.), an NAIA school, in 1983; he was there for three seasons before moving on to become an assistant at Akron for one season under Gerry Faust. He became coach at Samford, then a Division III school, in 1987. Samford moved to Division I-AA in 1989 and Bowden had the Bulldogs in the I-AA playoffs in 1991.
He was hired by Auburn in December 1992 and coached the Tigers until midway through the '98 season; he was 47-17-1 at Auburn – including an 11-0 record in his first season – despite taking over a program that was on probation when he arrived.