It looks like Akron was hellbent on hiring a Division II coach. After Paul Winters didn't work out, then several others took their name out of the running, athletic director Tom Wistrcill finally made a decision on Akron's next head football coach. And that person is: Terry Bowden, current head coach of Division II North Alabama, but most prominently with Auburn in the mid 90s.
Color me a bit shocked on this hire. It really did come out of nowhere, but that'll happen when Wistrcill demands nobody speak to anybody, not even at the deli counter (I'm assuming). Heck, just yesterday those who are confirming the Bowden reports said that the job would be given to Temple OC Scot Loeffler. Things change quickly, I suppose.
As for Bowden, he brings two characteristics: (1) A name to the program not seen since Gerry Faust, but more importantly (2) he's a living, breathing, full-functioning human to actually coach the program, as this is something they haven't had in nearly a month.
You may remember Bowden had a wealth of success at Auburn, going undefeated with the Tigers in 1993 amid NCAA sanctions. He has a spot of Akron history, as he was an assistant coach under Faust for Akron in 1986 before becoming head coach at Samford.
But the Akron faithful — and at this point, faith is all they have — seem pretty happy with this hire. And I don't blame them. At this stage in the game, their own alumnus were turning down the job and I felt they were left with a "reach" hire. Bowden isn't a reach. He may have signed a one-year extension with UNA earlier this month, which is odd, but Akron can obviously throw more money at him.
Bowden built his North Alabama program on the shoulders of beleaguered Division I transfers and he won. Rob Ianello also tried the transfer thing but many of them didn't work out so well, namely Clayton Moore.
Because I am lazy, the world will no longer see a post I was planning to write about Tom Wistrcill and his personal hell in this coaching search. It took longer than expected, but I do think Bowden can take a 1-11 program and turn them into something less laughable in the next three years. He has great facilities and some outstanding recruits left behind by Ianello who can play — they just need someone to give them better plays. Salivate at the thought of Jawon Chisholm running the ball in a Terry Bowden-schemed offense.
Honestly. This could work out. If not, it could be the end of Wistrcill at Akron, because no amount of soccer success can counterbalance terribly bad football.