When the going gets tough, you can always turn to family to offer some much-needed words of encouragement. Unless you’re Tommy Bowden, in which case you just have your brother Terry tell the world that your recently-fired (OK, “resigned”) behind got what it deserved. That’s what you get for telling Mom about the secret fort when you were eight.
It’s not all so heartless, as Terry Bowden does talk at length about how close he and his brother are. But it just goes to show how cruel the coaching profession can be. In his weekly column for YAHOO! SPORTS, Terry spends most of his time talking about how puzzled he is that Tommy couldn’t manage to get Clemson in position to win an ACC title, and that the university was right to try and find someone else who might be able to.
When asked (by himself) in his column whether or not Tommy deserved to be let go, this is what he had to say:
So, did Tommy Bowden deserve what happened to him Monday?
He deserved it because he, of all people, knew what to expect when he got into this business. We grew up in it.
He knew what to expect when he went to Clemson. He knew that no matter where you go, there is an expectation of success that must be met. After nine years at Clemson, he knew exactly what those expectations were and he knew they had not been met.
It’s an honest answer, but couldn’t Terry at least have spent part of the column acting like he was sad for his brother and that he’s a good coach who should get another chance somewhere? Perhaps he expects Tommy to do like he did and step away from coaching altogether. Terry “resigned” from Auburn six games into the 1998 season and hasn’t coached since.
In fact, the parallells between the brothers’ departure from their schools are eerily similar, so says MCCLATCHY (via the ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION):
— Both took their leave six games into the season.
— The departures came almost exactly 10 years apart — Tommy on Oct. 13 and Terry on Oct. 23, 1998.
— They left programs nicknamed Tigers, with orange as their color.
— Both schools appointed former Alabama assistants as interim coach — Bill Oliver taking over for Terry, Dabo Swinney for Tommy.
OK, other than the first one, those are some pretty arbitrary coincidences. Did they both eat at Wendy’s the week they
were fired resigned? Because that would be just about as relevant.
The whole saga will take another sad turn when Clemson travels to Florida State on November 8th — the day Bobby Bowden will find out. “Who’s that guy coaching them? Where’s my son?”