New Era in Akron: Zips Have Strong Faith in Bowden

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

AKRON, Ohio -- After being away from Division I football for 13 years, Terry Bowden has returned.

He is back in Akron 26 years after leaving as an assistant coach.

Bowden is trying to turn around a football program that won just two games in the last two years.

It's a new era for the Akron football team.

"Until you guys can come out here and not tolerate being average or just being okay, then you'll find out what being great is all about," Bowden told his players before football practice on Thursday.

"When he speaks, you listen just because of his last name and his past," said Akron quarterback Clayton Moore.

Bowden, 56, is trying to turn around a program that has won just 19 games since 2006.

"I don't think anyone wants to win more than these players," said Bowden after practice.

The University of Akron is Bowden's seventh coaching job.

"He's won at every place he's been at so that's why the faith we have in him is so strong," said Zips center Adam Bice.

Bowden compiled a 140-62-2 record in 18 seasons, but the job as the Zips head coach may be his biggest challenge yet.

"I think in the sense of where it's going to be the hardest to change a culture to bring about winning," he said.

Bowden said he talks to his dad, Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden, three or four times a week and his message to his son is to make sure the players are buying into what you're selling.

"Unless they believe in what we are asking them to do, it's not going to end in any positive results," said Bowden.

Bowden is not putting any timetable on turning around the program but he thinks Akron has the right ingredients to be successful.

"I think everything is in place that if we do the right things it will lead to winning," Bowden said.

And it all starts Aug. 30 at home against Central Florida.

The last time Akron had a winning record was 2005.

The team was 7-6 that year and won their first and only Mid-American Conference Football title.