Dan Scott Interview: Tommy Bowden
Clemson head football coach Tommy Bowden was a recent guest on Dan Scott's "Sportstalk” radio show. Below is the full audio interview and also some selected qoutes. DS: How did the family vacation (with Bobby Bowden) go this year? You didn’t have to buy dinner this year. I didn’t have to buy dinner. I got an entrée to go. (laughing) I got everything. I froze enough dinners.
DS: How was the IPTAY circuit after the season?
DS: Did they treat you better this year?
We got respect in the state of Florida. We did not have to walk in shame this year.
DS: We were wondering if maybe your dad changed the locks on you at condo this year?
No..but just to show you how things change I worked a camp at the first of June and usually there are Florida State t-shirts and Florida State hats. This was three states over, but this year I saw more Clemson hats than really any other…. When you get on national television and have some impressive wins and do well… you can see the teams that have done that for years definitely has an advantage in recruiting.
DS: Are the expectations too high this year?
The expectations here will always be the same. They are high, and they should be high. I think as you realistically look at the expectations, you have to look at what has gone on in this program for the last 20 or 25 years and see the things we need to do to catch up to speed. Some things our president and athletic director have addressed. Some things we need to do and as we do those things, I think the expectations should be raised and raised and raised. But some things they are doing are not going to happen overnight. But again, that will not lower the expectations. The expectations will always be high here and they should be. I think we are becoming a little more realistic on the tools we have to reach the expectations.
The crowds were larger and you could sense a renewed enthusiasm. I think that’s fairly common wherever you are when you have the turn around we had and the success at the end of the season. But again, the crowds were larger and there was renewed enthusiasm. Last year we had to give our fan base a ray of hope after the bowl loss. We had beaten South Carolina but we lost the bowl game so decisively so they went through 5 or 6 months where they needed to see some reason to continue be supportive and see a ray of hope. It (your talk) changes on how the season ended.
DS: How are you feeling personally? This time last year we were talking about the fiery furnace and now we are talking about Lazarus.
You like the outcome of Lazarus. He’s alive instead of dead. (laughing) You got to like how the story finished. Last year I didn’t realize much because I don’t read the paper much. Though you are not naïve, I didn’t know how much of a hot seat it ended up being. You know every car now a days has those seats that you can warm. You jump in there and you hit a button to turn the seat on or off. Last year I got in the car and the button was on. This year I got to turn it on. I like the objective to be whether you get to turn it on or turn it off.
DS: Talk about how after the Wake Forest game you and your staff did an excellent job of not letting any panic set into the program even with a erroneous report that you had been fired.
You know have Brad Scott who has been a head coach, and Mike O’Cain who has been a head coach and some older coaches. My other coaches have been around. You know Dabo Swinney is young but he has been around a pretty high profile program and David (Blackwell) at Pitt. We were not naïve as to what was going on. I think the staff has the ability to shut that out and block it off and go get your work done because there was still a lot of season left. We were 5-4. Just win one of those games and you are bowl eligible for a fifth straight time which was an ACC record. There was still a lot left on the table. I thought the staff did a good job. They were obviously aware of what was going on. It had been going on for four or five months but we knew it wasn’t going to stop if anything it was going to accelerate after that game. I thought the players responded well also.
DS: I would imagine it is a lot easier to convince recruits to come to Clemson the way the season ended.
I’ve never been in the situation I was in last year where you really don’t know how recruits are going to respond. After the rumors and innuendo starting in August about job security, players locally had heard for five or six months that I was not going to be here. As high profile players were making decisions on which schools to visit we were eliminated early in the recruiting process. Then as things turned later in the year, it was tough to combat five months of negative publicity with four weeks of positive publicity. Now Dan, we are just now reaping the benefits with some security. Bulldozers will definitely be moving after the season for our project for facilities. Our graduation rate was high last year and it is going to be high for the next couple of years. I already know what the graduation numbers will be for my sixth and seventh years. So when they are released they are going to be high. I think with the facilities, graduation rate, academic support, commitment from the president and athletic director… I think recruiting is not where Miami and Florida State maybe Michigan and Ohio State and some of those schools are right now but we can get there with the addition of what is going on right now. That’s why I want the fans to have high expectations but there is still some growth that we need to do in areas other than the field.
DS: How did the family vacation (with Bobby Bowden) go this year? You didn’t have to buy dinner this year.
I didn’t have to buy dinner. I got an entrée to go. (laughing) I got everything. I froze enough dinners.
DS: How was the IPTAY circuit after the season?