MERIDIAN, Miss. Former Clemson football head coach Tommy Bowden was in Meridian tonight at Northcrest Baptist Church for a special event called, "A Night of Champions".
The event was put on by the church in conjunction with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Over 200 student-athletes and their families attended the event to hear Bowden speak about his coaching career and faith in Jesus. Bowden shed light on what he believes it takes to achieve success and be a champion.
"I'm trying to encourage these guys to help them make good decisions at their age, Bowden said. "I coached for 32 years, 12 as a head coach, so I've seen some things to maybe avoid and I’m trying to share things with the players about ways to make good decisions and be successful in life.”
Bowden preceded Dabo Swiney as head coach of Clemson from 1999-2008. He was ACC Coach of the Year during his first season at Clemson as well as in 2003. Bowden led Clemson to a bowl game every year except in 2004 after a brawl with rival South Carolina led to both teams withdrawing from bowl consideration for that season.
Bowden is also the son of Florida State football legend Bobby Bowden who coached the Seminoles from 1976-2009. The two coaches played each other nine times when coaching at Clemson and Florida State in what came to be known as the "Bowden Bowl".
During the FCA event, Bowden shared how his two biggest coaching achievements were his 11-0 season as head coach at Tulane and the first time he beat his father when facing off as head coaches.
When asked about his prediction for this year's National Championship matchup, Bowden agreed with popular opinion that we would be seeing a rematch of Alabama and Clemson for the title.
"You can probably toss a coin on which team will win," Bowden said. "Two great teams. Two great coaches. They've got great players and something will have to happen for them not to play in it."