Today was a day of great celebration and news amidst college football. The Akron Zips jumped into the news party with both feet. Instead of bowl announcements or celebrations, the Zips have announced that they are currently coach-less as they have elected to part ways with Terry Bowden.
Per the Akron news release on the matter:
University of Akron (UA) Director of Athletics Larry Williams announced today that Head Football Coach Terry Bowden will not return to lead the Zips football program in 2019.
“I would like to thank Terry Bowden and his coaching staff for their dedication and passion to rebuilding the Akron football program,” Williams said. “Certainly, Terry and his staff have brought respectability to the program over the last seven years. However, after undertaking a thorough review of the entire program, and in consultation with the President and Board of Trustees, it is clear that we need to make a change if we are going to consistently achieve at an even higher level. Akron Athletics greatly appreciates all that Terry has done for the University, and we wish him the best moving forward.”
Williams said that the University will immediately begin a national search for a new head football coach.
Bowden just completed his seventh season at The University of Akron. He was named the 27th all-time head coach on December 22, 2011, but he is just the seventh person to hold the position since 1960. During the 1986 season, he was an assistant coach for then-Head Coach Gerry Faust.
“I’ve been told that I would not be retained at The University of Akron,” Bowden said. “It saddens me that I will not be able to work through this with my coaches and players. But the University feels it is time to bring in new leadership and a new direction. I want to thank the University of Akron for giving me this opportunity. I want to thank all of my assistant coaches, support staff, and players who helped turn this program around, especially our Senior Class which was one of the most productive in our Division I history. It’s been one of the greatest joys of my life to come to Akron and build this program, but also for the great relationships I have established. I am blessed to have the greatest fellowship of friends here in this community. I want nothing but the best for the University of Akron and all of Zips Nation.”
In 2018, the Zips (4-8 overall 2-6 MAC), defeated Big Ten West Division Champion Northwestern 39-34, the University’s first win over a Big Ten opponent in school history. Coach Bowden’s record leading the program is 35-52 overall and 23-33 in Mid-American Conference play. Bowden led the Zips to two post-season bowl games, the 2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the 2017 Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl.
So the Bowden era in Akron comes to a close after an up and down tenure that will be remembered as much for what it didn’t do as it did. Perhaps a byproduct of a famous last name and recruiting prowess, the Zips were perennial darkhorse MAC Championship picks the last few years, each year failing to meet expectations. In all reality, it was simply a matter of time before the growing pressure to win with the facilities and talent the Zips did Bowden in.
So consider CoachSearch2018 wide open for the Zips. The Chips appear to have their man, and Akron you are now on the clock.