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November 26, 2007

Bowden extension coming

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CLEMSON, (S.C.) - Clemson head football coach Tommy Bowden could soon have a new contract.

The 53-year old met briefly with Clemson Athletics Director Terry Don Phillips on Monday, two days after the Tigers defeated arch-rival South Carolina 23-21 to pick up win No. 9 on the season.

Phillips told Bowden Monday he was pleased with the progress of the program and would offer an extension, according to a 6:48 PM EST email from Clemson Sports Information Director Tim Bourret sent to members of the media.

There will be further meetings to discuss the terms of the contract in the coming days, the email stated.

Bowden currently has three years remaining on his contract with a buyout of $2.5 million.

An extension of at least two years would benefit the coach and staffers greatly on the recruiting trail over the next two and a half months, as rival recruiters would not be able to contend that Bowden's job status was not secure.

Bowden is 69-41 in nine seasons at Clemson, and has positioned himself to guide the Tigers potentially to their first 10-win season in 17 years. The Tigers have been bowl eligible in each of Bowden's nine seasons. The former West Virginia wideout is a two-time ACC Coach of the Year recipient.

Bowden was originally slated to have his weekly teleconference on Monday, but that was pushed back. The head coach held a team meeting Monday afternoon.

Bourret said Monday night he wasn't sure when Bowden would reschedule the teleconference. It could occur over the next couple of days.

Seven members of Clemson's coaching staff hit the road recruiting on Monday following a morning recruiting meeting, as on Sunday the NCAA contact period in recruiting got underway.

Bowden is not on the recruiting trail this week, but is expected to join staffers on the road next week.

Clemson's recruiting class is currently ranked 16th in the nation by Rivals.com. Bowden has signed three consecutive top 17 classes. His 2008 effort could challenge for a top ten ranking nationally. Clemson currently has 16 verbal commitments.

Also out of Clemson on Monday, junior quarterback Cullen Harper had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder.

Senior left offensive guard Chris McDuffie also had arthroscopic surgery on his elbow, and true freshman defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins had a surgical procedure done to a wrist. All three are expected to be available for the start of Clemson's on-campus bowl workouts, which should begin at the end of the second week in December.

Junior wide receiver Tyler Grisham, who suffered an upper-body injury Saturday night, later taken to a local hospital, also will be available for day one of on-campus bowl workouts.

The Tigers could know their bowl fate as early as Saturday evening. The Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, Ga. played on December 31 or the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. played on January 1, 2008 are the two likely scenarios.

The Tigers have been to 29 bowl games all-time, and hold a 15-14 mark in postseason play.

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