December 2, 1998
By MARY FOSTER
AP Sports Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Tommy Bowden is leaving Tulane, the team he coached to an 11-0 record this season, to become coach at Clemson.
"This was not an easy decision," Bowden said in a statement released by Tulane's athletic department. "Tulane and the city of New Orleans have been very good to me and my family both personally and professionally. I leave here with nothing but fond memories."
Tulane president Scott Cowen and athletic director Sandy Barbour said they would launch an immediate search for Bowden's replacement.
Bowden did not say when he would depart. However, The (Columbia) State newspaper said today Bowden will not coach Tulane in the Liberty Bowl Dec. 31.
Clemson reportedly has offered to pay half of Bowden's $750,000 buyout clause, the newspaper said.
Rich Rodriguez, Tulane's offensive coordinator under Bowden for the past two years, was made interim head coach today. He is expected to coach Tulane in the Liberty Bowl and is considered a top candidate to replace Bowden. However, he also is tentatively scheduled to interview for head coaching jobs at two other universities this week.