CLEMSON - The appearance of UCF at Death Valley on Saturday will allow Tommy
Bowden to catch up with an old mentor.
If he has time.
Steve Sloan, the former Duke University coach who gave Bowden his first shot
at being an offensive coordinator in 1983, now serves as UCF's athletic
director. Bowden has maintained a high level of respect and admiration for
Sloan, and Monday said he still talks to his former boss about once a month.
Whether they get to talk Saturday may be a different story.
"I wouldn't think so until after the game," Bowden said. "Unless he's on the
field before the game, and then it would have to be real quick. But we talk a
lot anyway. He's one of two people I turn to for advice."
The other, of course, is his famous father at Florida State.
The four years the Bowden and Sloan spent together at Duke weren't productive
on the field, at least in terms of wins and losses. The Blue Devils compiled
a 13-31 record during that span, and Bowden left Duke to become Alabama's
wide receiver coach in 1987.
But what Bowden took from Sloan as a friend and mentor has remained deep in
his conviction to this day.
"Because of his Christian values, and being a Christian in the coaching
profession like my father, I've always turned to him," Bowden said. "And he
was my first real exposure to a passing attack different from my father's,
and I learned a lot from him."
- For the first time in a week no Tiger missed practice due to injury, except
for Kevin Youngblood and Altroy Bodrick who are lost for the year.
All others, including right tackle Derrick Brantley (sprained knee) and
running back Travis Zachery (sprained ankle) went through the full workout.
- As he drove off the field in his golf cart, a disgusted defensive
coordinator Reggie Herring yelled to the writers gathered "Worst practice in
the history of football."
He didn't stop to explain, and Bowden said he couldn't comment because he
spent the day watching the offense work.
- Bowden begins his weekly press conferences at 11 a.m. today at the McFadden
The press conference will be broadcast live on WCCP-FM, 104.9. The broadcast
can be accessed on the Internet by going to www.wccpfm.com.
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger and the Florence Morning News. He also hosts SportsTalk from 10 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9.