Bowden leaves UL-Monroe to be with ailing father

NCAAF

UL-Monroe coach Terry Bowden has left the team to be with his father, Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden, who has end-stage pancreatic cancer.

The team confirmed Terry Bowden traveled Thursday to Tallahassee, Florida. Offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez, the former head coach at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona, is leading the team as it started training camp Friday. Rodriguez will remain interim head coach during Bowden’s absence.

The Bowden family announced last month that Bobby, 91, was battling a terminal illness, and Terry Bowden confirmed it was pancreatic cancer. Bobby Bowden led Florida State to national titles in 1993 and 1999, and recorded the second-most wins in Division I history with 357.

Terry Bowden is entering his first season at ULM. He previously served as an FBS head coach at Akron and Auburn.

“There’s a spiritual side of me that thanks God for all the good times I’ve had with my father,” Bowden told the [Monroe] News-Star. “We’ve known for a couple weeks that it was terminal. As it gets closer, we’re thankful that it hasn’t been a difficult or painful process for him. The knowledge that with Rich here and us being close, I have no problem turning it over to him because he’s done it almost as long as I have. I’m comfortable enough in my shoes to let him step in and know that our program will run smoothly.”