Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Stowers Shouldn't Have All This Free Time

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Stowers Shouldn't Have All This Free Time

Article excerpt

All things considered, Tim Stowers can't kick too much about

being tossed into college football's unemployment line by the

knee-jerk administration at Georgia Southern.

Instead of working 110-hour weeks, he's getting paid through

August, 1998, to play a little golf, catch jackfish on the

Ogeechee River ("the best secret in Statesboro") and spend more

time with his wife, Gaye, 9-yearold son, T.J., and 5-year-old

daughter, Lee.

Instead of devising a way to keep Florida quarterback Danny

Wuerffel and its frustrated offense from scoring 70 points

Saturday against the Eagles, Stowers can do whatever he pleases

-- channel-surf, field calls from potential buyers of his

2,800-square foot house, sleep in. His life is as uncomplicated

as an Alabama playbook.

For now, the man who has won as many national championships as

Bobby Bowden and Steve Spurrier combined is a couch potato, an

unfortunate victim of college football's dark side.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you

get let go two days before spring practice, there's not going to

be a lot of [job] openings," Stowers said. "I'm just waiting

for the deck chairs on the Titanic to be reshuffled."

Stowers may have lost a job, but not his sense of humor. He

needs it to keep any bitterness from souring him on a profession

that is as ruthless as it is rewarding.

In the perpetual revolving door known as college coaching,

there may be no greater mystery than Georgia Southern firing

Stowers. And replacing him on a one-year interim basis with

associate athletic director Frank Ellwood, who hasn't coached

since 1978 when he ended a four-year term at Marshall with a

10-34 record.

All Stowers did was compile a 51-23 mark, win a I-AA national

title in his first season (1990) and graduate 95 percent of the

players who completed their eligibility. There were no whispers

of scandal, no NCAA investigators on Stowers' trail. He ran a

clean, successful program, but that wasn't good enough.

Georgia Southern boosters, still spoiled by the unparalleled

success of Erk Russell's three national championships in the

1980s, turned up the heat after last year's 9-4 record and 45-0

second-round playoff loss to Montana. …

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