Jeff Bowden enters his third season as the offensive coordinator for the Seminoles in 2003 with another challenging task ahead. The Seminoles lost four starters on the offensive front along with both starting wide receivers. However, the offense should benefit from returning experience at quarterback and both fullback and tailback. Expectations were raised during the spring as well when the young receiving corps and offensive line both performed better than expected.
Bowden brings 16 years of college coaching experience into the 2003 season and some suggest he may have taken over the coordinators duties at one of the toughest times in recent FSU history. When Bowden was elevated following the 2000 season when Mark Richt left to become head coach at Georgia, FSU was faced with having to replace Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke, four-year starting tailback Travis Minor and five other starters. The job got even more challenging in the preseason when both starting wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Robert Morgan were lost for the year. In addition, Bowden would ask a redshirt freshman to run the quarterback position for the first time in 28 years at FSU. Last season also had some difficult hurdles for the offensive staff particularly when faced with the loss of a Heisman Trophy candidate in Greg Jones at tailback who was lost to injury with five games left and having already gained nearly 1,000 yards on the season. In addition, the Seminoles were forced to start three different players at quarterback over the season. Given those circumstances, the 2003 season presents the challenge of replacing seven starters, but coaches are encouraged by the talent displayed during spring practice.
Bowden was named offensive coordinator after coaching the wide receivers at FSU for the previous six years. He continues to coach the wide receivers in addition to his coordinator duties.
Bowden is his dad’s equal in terms of welcoming a challenge. His confidence is justified, as his work has been fruitful since he first began at FSU. Two years ago, Javon Walker capped an excellent two-year career with FSU with the MVP trophy from the 2002 Gator and went on to become a first-round draft pick by Green Bay. Under Bowden’s direction in 1997, E.G. Green earned second team Associated Press All-America status and finished with more receiving touchdowns (29) over his career than any previous FSU receiver. Five years ago, Green teamed with Andre Cooper to become the first duo in FSU and ACC history to each register over 1,000 receiving yards. Seven years ago, Kez McCorvey finished a career that made him the second most prolific receiver in school history. Just four years ago, Peter Warrick broke Green’s FSU record and set a new ACC record with 31 career TD catches. In 2000, Snoop Minnis earned consensus All-America honors and was selected in the third round by the Kansas City Chiefs
Bowden, the youngest of Bobby and Ann’s six children, played wide receiver for the Seminoles while in college and FSU played in three bowl games over his career. Following his playing career, Bowden moved immediately into coaching at Salem College in West Virginia upon graduation from FSU. He was the receivers coach for two seasons under brother Terry and was promoted to offensive coordinator in his third year.
After a year back at FSU as a graduate assistant, Jeff rejoined Terry at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. He was the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator in 1987 and added the title of assistant head coach from 1988-90. He is credited with guiding the career of Division III All-America quarterback Jimbo Fisher at Samford.
He moved from Samford to Southern Mississippi and coached the receivers for three years before coming to Tallahassee.
Jeff is married to the former Cindi Smith and they have five children, Haley, Hunter, T.J., Robert and Julia Elizabeth.
Bowden’s Quick Facts
Years as a Collegiate Coach: 16