Coach Tommy Bowden Speaks in Virginia Beach


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Clemson University's newly appointed head football coach, Tommy Bowden, was the guest speaker at the Tidewater Clemson Club dinner held April 14 at the Ft. Story officer's club in Virginia Beach, Va. Clemson Tiger fans from as far away as Richmond, Va. were present to hear Tommy Bowden speak on the progress of his first Clemson football team.



Tommy Bowden, the son of Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden, was head coach at Tulane University the two years prior to assuming command at Clemson.



After a brief introductory monologue by Clemson assistant basketball coach, Matthew Driscoll, coach Bowden appeared at the podium shortly before 9:00 p.m. His commentary centered around his offensive and defensive strategies.



Gone with yesterday is Clemson's long used "I" type offensive running formation and now replaced with a heavier receiving corp at the line of scrimmage. In a large percentage of plays, the quarterback will command from the shotgun, but the most interesting of Bowden's latest renovations is the establishment of his no-huddle style offense and his attack style defense. Bowden used the "no-huddle" while coaching his Tulane Greenwave team onto an undefeated season in 1998. He explained that the Tiger's running plays will be carried out from different formations other than the traditional "I", and also at times up to five receivers will be seen at the line of scrimmage and rarely will there be just two.



Bowden later stated, "If we can run the football next year for two thousand yards, we'll win some football games."



As for the defense, Bowden has created one that will be just as fast paced and up tempo as his offense. He explained that it will focus as an attack defense and use a loaded line that works at the same intensity level as his no-huddle offense.



Clemson, under the leadership of Danny Ford, won the 1981 national championship by beating Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. After Ford's departure from the team, at the close of the 1989 season, a series of two coaching changes disrupted Clemson's previous successes. The team fell from its 1991 ACC championship title to its 3-8 overall record in 1998. Bowden's predecessor, Tommy West, was fired last fall three days prior to the Tiger's final game with the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. West remained with the team until after the USC game, which Clemson won 28-19.



On the afternoon of December 3, 1998, before a large gathering of media personnel from around the South Carolina upstate, Bowden's formal introduction as the Clemson Tiger's new head coach was conducted

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