Separate reports link Bowen to defensive coordinator jobs at North Texas, Indiana

Herald Staff

WKU officially announced Thursday that defensive coordinator Clint Bowen has submitted his resignation to the school to pursue other opportunities.

Deborah Wilkins, WKU chief of staff and general counsel, told the Herald Thursday that Bowen will accept the same position at North Texas.

Several media outlets began reporting the move to North Texas Wednesday. was the first to publish the report.

Inside Hilltopper Sports Radio reported Thursday night on its Twitter feed that Bowen may instead be headed to Indiana as the defensive coordinator, and that an “announcement could be soon.”

But a follow-up free to the public hadn’t been published at as of Friday morning, and the Twitter post linking Bowen to Indiana was later removed.

Both schools have recently hired new head coaches.

Dan McCarney, a former Iowa State head coach, was recently hired by North Texas to replace interim coach Mike Canales and former coach Todd Dodge. McCarney was introduced as head coach on Nov. 30.

Kevin Wilson was introduced as former coach Bill Lynch’s replacement at Indiana on Tuesday.

WKU officials declined to comment on the Bowen rumors until Thursday afternoon, when they issued a release with a statement from Head Coach Willie Taggart.

“Clint did a great job for us this past season, and he laid a solid foundation for our defense,” Taggart said in the statement. “I really enjoyed working with him, and we wish him and his family well. We improved defensively in many areas, and that was due to the collective efforts of Clint, our coaching staff and players. With the talent we have returning, this is an attractive coaching position and we will hire an outstanding defensive coordinator. Our recruiting continues to go very well, we are excited about our coaching staff and players, and the future is bright for WKU football.”

The release only recognized Bowen’s departure and did not confirm his next destination.

Eric Capper, North Texas’ senior associate athletic director, told the Herald in an email Friday that “there has been no official announcement about the hiring of any assistant football coaches and at the present time the University of North Texas does not have a contract with Mr. Bowen.”

Bowen raised the Toppers’ defensive profile this season. The unit ranked 68th in the nation and third in the Sun Belt Conference in total defense, giving up 380 yards per game.

Budgeted salary information for the 2010-2011 year available on WKU’s Web site suggests Bowen made $71,016 as the school’s defensive coordinator this season.

But Athletics Director Ross Bjork told the Bowling Green Daily News on Friday that Bowen’s actual salary amounted to more than $100,000, making him the third-highest paid defensive coordinator in the Sun Belt last season.

The Daily News reported that Bjork said Bowen was offered roughly $120,000 for next season in negotiations before his departure.

Bjork also told the Daily News he didn’t know where Bowen would be headed next season — only that it wouldn’t be WKU.