Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ties between Clemson, Alabama astonishing

When Clemson meets Alabama Saturday night in the Georgia Dome, it will be the first time the programs have met since 1975.

That's almost hard to believe given the ties between the programs.

Four of Clemson's head football coaches are Alabama grads - Frank Howard, Hootie Ingram, Charley Pell and Danny Ford.

Tommy Bowden didn't go to school there - he's a West Virginia grad - but he coached at Alabama under Bill Curry.

Bowden had expected to be part of the Alabama staff earlier because he expected his father, Bobby, to be hired in Tuscaloosa after the 1986 season.

Tommy had gone to Birmingham to be with his father and Florida State for a bowl game against Indiana. "I went to a bowl game all four years I was coaching at Duke," Tommy joked.

"They were just his."

His dad interviewed with Alabama officials but didn't get the job.

"I was in the room when he came back from the interview and slammed the door and said the job was going to someone else," Tommy Bowden said. "As soon as he slammed the door, I slammed one, too, because I was out of a job."

Tommy Bowden had been on Steve Sloan's staff at Duke, but Sloan had left to become the Alabama athletics director.

Bowden interviewed for several jobs, including with Steve Spurrier at Duke and Bobby Ross, who was replacing Curry at Georgia Tech. He eventually wound up at Tulsa but lasted only six weeks because a job came open on Curry's staff in Tuscaloosa.

-Ron Green Jr.