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ULM's courtship of Terry Bowden actually started five years ago

This afternoon, Louisiana-Monroe officially announced what we initially shared this morning - Terry Bowden has been tabbed the new leader of the program.

Typically, the school's announcement is pretty dry, but in ULM's release, Bowden shared that the Warhawks interest in him returning to his Southern roots actually began five years ago.

Back in 2015, Bowden was the head coach at Akron and had just engineered an 8-5 season that culminated in the school's first bowl victory. According to Bowden, while the timing wasn't right then, it was the first time he was introduced to the potential of the ULM program.

"First of all, I want to thank President Dr. Ron Berry and Athletics Director Scott McDonald for giving me this opportunity to coach at ULM," Bowden starts off sharing in the release.

"I got introduced to ULM back after the 2015 season when a contingent flew up to Akron and talked to me about the job. They did a great job of selling me on the potential of this program and the commitment they had to turning it around. Although the timing just wasn't quite right, I did remember feeling that with my success at places like this, and my desire to get back down South to a college town very much like Auburn and Clemson, that this was a perfect place for me to be. I felt then that I was the best guy they could find to build a winner at ULM and I still do."

The search that year for ULM turned to McNeese (FCS - LA) head coach Matt Viator, who went 19-39 over the last five seasons, including an 0-10 mark this year.

That story from Bowden is a great reminder that the hiring cycle in the coaching profession works in unique ways all the time.

A college coaching veteran in the truest sense of the phrase, ULM marks Bowden's sixth head coaching opportunity (Salem, Samford, Auburn, North Alabama, Akron), and his third at the FBS level.

He has an overall career record of 175-114-2, and while it's going to take a serious turnaround, at age 64 it's completely plausible that Bowden is able to notch his 200th career win as head coach of the Warhawks.

Read the school's full release here.

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