Monday, November 24, 2014

Bowen, Snyder have crossed paths plenty of times before

In this Sept. 1, 2012, file photo, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, center, talks to his team during a timeout in a game against Missouri State in Manhattan.

In this Sept. 1, 2012, file photo, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, center, talks to his team during a timeout in a game against Missouri State in Manhattan.


A little less than five years ago, in the weeks after Mark Mangino's departure from the Kansas University football program, then-KU-defensive-coordinator Clint Bowen considered working for Kansas State coach Bill Snyder.

In December of 2009, sources told the Journal-World that Bowen had talked with Snyder about an opening on the K-State staff. And Monday morning, on the Big 12 coaches teleconference, Snyder confirmed that he once talked with Bowen about an opening.

Things never materialized further, which Snyder said likely was “because he's a KU guy,” and Bowen, after 12 years as an assistant coach at Kansas, went to Western Kentucky, where he spent the 2010 season as the WKU defensive coordinator before going to North Texas in 2011 and landing back at Kansas in 2012.

A lot has happened for both programs since Bowen tested the waters at K-State, but none of it figures to be more significant for KU's interim head coach than the opportunity to coach against Snyder this weekend in a place he played — and lost, 10-9 — as a KU senior and has coached numerous times during the past couple of decades.

Asked Monday morning about his memories of facing the Wildcats as a player, Bowen said the Sunflower Showdown games always were meaningful because he and his teammates knew the entire state was paying attention.

“I remember all my games playing in it,” Bowen said. “They were all fun games to play in, fun games to be a part of. To the people of the state of Kansas, this is obviously a big game. And, through the years, there've been a lot of great match-ups and some stories and history behind it, from when both teams weren't very good to when both teams were really good.”

With Saturday marking the final chance in his eight-game audition to make his case for the full-time coaching gig, Bowen knows what a good showing or even a victory over K-State would mean for his chances and to the KU players and fan base. But, as has been the case throughout the past couple of months, don't expect Bowen to put his future ahead of the here-and-now of trying to win Saturday's game. It's something Bowen knows will be tough because of the guy calling the shots on the opposite sideline.

“I have tremendous respect for what coach Snyder's done at Kansas State and their program,” Bowen said.

Half an hour later, Snyder spoke of similar respect for Bowen.

“I’ve known Clint for some time,” the K-State coach said. “He’s a good, good young guy and has a great passion for the game. He’s a young coach that I admire. I think he tries to do it the right way, and I always have a great appreciation for that.”

As for Snyder's thoughts about Bowen's candidacy for the KU job: “You have to extract the Oklahoma ballgame, but aside from that, I think it’s obvious to most everyone you see a great deal of improvement,” Snyder said. “You see greater motivation for the players. I just think in all facets of the program, you see enthusiasm by the coaches and players alike. Along with that is always going to come improvement, and they certainly have made that.”

KU and K-State will kickoff at 3 p.m. Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan.


Michael Maris 8 years ago

Oh no, more Coach's Shop Talk taking place.

Coach Snyder speaking his mind.

I'm sure Doug will have something to say about that. All the Big XII Coaches complimenting Coach Bowen and supporting his candidacy for the Head Coaching Job.

If Bowen doesn't get the job. I sure as heck hope that Ed Warriner is offered & properly paid and ACCEPTS the job. I'm sure that Doug C. can't complain about his resume during his Assistant Coaching career.

kellerman411 8 years ago

Clint did not make this an easy decision down in Norman. That was bad. We were out of position all day long. You can chalk up the power runs of 5-10 yards as our d-line getting dominated, but the amount of explosive running plays that went the distance is very troubling. I realize OU has more talent than us but we had 11 guys out of position for an entire game. What you're looking for in a situation like that is just adjustment, particularly after half-time, and it just wasn't there. You want to see your coaching staff understand how to take something away that is killing you, even if it gives up something else. But to just sit there and get blown up by isolation or dive or whatever hand-offs they ran that went to the house is ridiculous.

As for Bowen, I think you can write off the OU game only with a strong performance against K-State. If this game looks like the OU game, find someone else because there's no excuse. This is an in state rivalry game and Bowen needs to organize what he has and go in there swinging.

The home town kid thing is great, the way the kids love him is great, the support from the alumni is great but he needs to show that he can prepare a team with average talent and go out and compete with your an in state rival that loves putting a pounding on us. A reasonable measuring stick is whether or not we're in the game in the 4th quarter. If it's over before then, commence the coaching search and make sure we retain Bowen as a DC and recruiter.

Lucas Town 8 years ago

Ha! It must have been our offense that scared it out of him. What is it with Walker's and K-State doing that. Remember Bill Walker went in that towel during a timeout.

kellerman411 8 years ago

Yeah, I don't know. Bowen is a KU guy so I really think he would stay. It does make it different though now that he's been the interim head coach.

Bobby Oviemena Birhiray 8 years ago

OU was not good at all.... Baylor and OU have way more a talent up front on both sides of the ball and right now that is college sports, "racking up talent". Remember guys, Coach Mangino 1st year we took it in the teeth against K-State 63-0 and CU 45-0 at home. Then two years later beat them, so for what it is worth. If got back look at that game. A lot drop balls, and a lot guys just being over match physically. You can't grow your own recruits you gotta find them.

Andy Tweedy 8 years ago

I've been on board with Bowen the whole time, but I do agree this week could make or break his candidacy. But I'm not against KU looking at other candidates, and if it came down to Warriner or Bowen, I honestly feel like we'd be in pretty good shape either way. I also tend to agree with Brett, above, when he says bringing Clint back as DC under a different coach would be problematic. Maybe he could take a job off the field for a year or two to remove himself from that awkwardness, maybe a recruiting coordinator position or something like that.

Jim Stauffer 8 years ago

Several point made here I don't agree with. The media and fans have made these 8 weeks a trial period for Clint. Trial period for what? He is supposed to turn a team that has performed miserably for 5 years into a team that goes to Norman and takes on those bullies who are twice our size and speed and come out looking good? He is supposed to turn a loser into a winner with 8 games in the middle of the season, no Spring Practice, no Fall Session. C'mon! If you can type on a keyboard you know better than that.

What he can and did do in those 8 weeks is turn the organization into something systemized in favor of on field success. He has clearly done that. Beyond that, his interview as well as those of the other candidates will be the determining factor.

What puzzles me is some guy saying our defense was so horribly managed in Norman that we should hire someone else as head coach and keep Clint as DC. Are you kidding me? Keep a DC whose defensive work was so poor he could not be promoted for that very reason? Ridiculous!

And finally, if Clint thinks he should have the Head job, why would he work under the guy who was hired over him. It would be bad chemistry for both men.

kellerman411 8 years ago

"Beyond that, his interview as well as those of the other candidates will be the determining factor".

So, a 30 minute job interview is where our focus should be instead of the 8 weeks that he spent doing the very job that he is interviewing for?

Okay, got it.

Zenger probably meets with Clint to talk at least once a week.

Bob Bailey 8 years ago


Bowen should at least find the way to get the Defense in the right position! And maybe teach Tackling and Coverage as well. And maybe come up with a Defensive Scheme that makes good sense.

Lucas Town 8 years ago

Bowen should have gone to K-State in 2009. He would have been hired in 2012 to replace Gill and we never would of had this Weis fiasco. Surely getting 2 guys from Snyder, Zenger and what could have been Bowen had he went to work for Snyder, KU would have this thing turned around and we would be beating K-State regularly.

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