Beacon Journal staff report
University of Akron football coach Terry Bowden has received a two-year contract extension, the school’s athletic office said Thursday in a news release.
Bowden has led the Zips to a 4-7 record this season with one game remaining, Nov. 29 against visiting Toledo.
UA’s improvement under Bowden has been reflected in a victory over rival Kent State, 16-7, along with strong performances against unbeaten Northern Illinois and perennial Big 10 power Michigan in close losses.
Here is the full news release from the university:
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University of Akron football head coach Terry Bowden has received a two-year contract extension, President Dr. Luis M. Proenza and Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill announced on Thursday. The extension, which is pending approval by the UA Board of Trustees, will keep Bowden at the helm of the program through the 2018 season.
Bowden, currently in his second year as coach of the Zips, has led Akron to a 4-7 overall record and a 3-4 mark against Mid-American Conference teams this season, with one game remaining on Nov. 29 versus Toledo. It is the program’s highest overall win total since 2008, when it went 5-7 (3-5 MAC), and comes after facing what the NCAA lists as the nation’s 41st toughest schedule to date.
Nine of the Zips’ opponents this season competed in a bowl game at the end of the 2012 season, including six of eight conference foes. The Zips lost by a combined 11 points to nationally-ranked Michigan (28-24 on Sept. 14) and Northern Illinois (27-20 on Oct. 12), and two opponents, NIU and Central Florida, are listed in the top 25 of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings.
Akron heads into the season finale next Friday against Toledo having won two-straight and three of its last four outings. Included in that stretch is a 16-7 victory over neighborhood rival Kent State on Nov. 2 to regain possession of the coveted wooden Wagon Wheel trophy for the first time since 2009. Five student-athletes have earned MAC Player-of-the-Week recognition this season.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress we’ve made,” Bowden said. “I’m proud of the dedication of the players and staff, who have never given up and are starting to see the rewards of their hard work. This contract extension is a product of their efforts and I appreciate the continued dedication the University has made to Zips Football. That dedication of resources was apparent when I interviewed for this position and helps with every aspect of our program.”
Named Akron’s 27th all-time head coach in December 2011, he is the seventh person to hold the position since 1960 and inherited a team that posted 1-11 records in both 2010 and 2011. Bowden’s 2012 Zips squad finished 1-11 as well, but scored a school-record and MAC season-high 30 passing touchdowns, and finished the year ranked first in the MAC and 16th nationally in passing (312.8 ypg), and sixth in the league and 45th in the country in total offense (427.2 ypg). The program was listed near the bottom of those statistical categories during the two years prior.
Other highlights of the 2012 season include redshirt freshman kicker Robert Stein being one of 38 student-athletes named to the Academic All-MAC Team. Additionally, 11 Zips earned academic honorable mention from the league and senior receiver Marquelo Suel was named to the All-MAC Team.
“We are excited about what Coach Bowden has done with the program over the last two years,” Wistrcill said. “This extension is a reward for that performance and the belief that we have in him and his staff. There has been a great attitude change within the team and I also know the Zips community is pleased with the progress being made.”
Bowden, who served as a studio analyst and color commentator with ABC Sports’ college football for 10 years, was the head coach at Auburn from 1993-98 and spent the three seasons prior to coming to Akron at Division II North Alabama. He led UNA to a 29-9 record and three-consecutive playoff appearances.