Today North Texas put out a press release announcing the mutually agreed parting of ways:
North Texas head coach Seth Littrell and defensive coordinator Clint Bowen have mutually agreed to part ways, Littrell announced Friday. Bowen just completed his first season as the Mean Green’s defensive coordinator under Littrell.
Quote from the head man:
“Clint and I had some discussions and decided together that the best move for all involved was to part ways,” Littrell said. “This was a difficult season to navigate for everyone, and that was no different in our case. I think coach Bowen is very good coach, but sometimes, for a variety of reasons, things don’t work out the way you plan. I want to thank coach Bowen for what he put into our program this past year, and wish him and his family the best in the future.”
Quote from the man gone:
“I wasn’t able to accomplish what I set out to in year one,” Bowen said. “Obviously we had some obstacles to overcome with no offseason and the difficulty that COVID brought along, but ultimately I’m responsible for the defense and we didn’t perform up to my standard. I wish North Texas well, but I think it’s in my best professional interest to pursue other opportunities at this time.
It is the policy of this site to never revel in the loss of income of another person. People got to earn a living and the Bowen family is not going through a super-happy time right now, to say the least.
That said, the nature of the beast, to use an old idiom, is that you can lose your gig after a bad season1. Clint Bowen presided over the worst NT defense in recent memory, and it was never more on display than in the bowl game in which App State ran three 60+ yard runs, 98% untouched for scores. There was much to complain about this defense and a change was nearly demanded by all of the internet fandom.
His defense dragged the bottom of nearly every defensive category: points, yards, rush yards, what-have-you. NT allowed seven (7) players a career rushing day or their 2nd highest:
- Ulysses Bentley — SMU: 19 carries 227 yards 3 scores
- Frank Gore Jr. — USM: 23 carreies 130, 1 score
- Aaron McCallister — CLT: 12 for 140 and 1 td (2nd highest total)
- Chaton Mobley — MTSU: 14 carries 156 yards 1 score (2nd highest total)
- Khalan Griffin — Rice: 20 carries 72 yards (five games in career)
- Israel Tucker — LaTech: 37 rushes 164 yards 2 scores
- Calvin Brownholtz (QB) — UTEP: 15 carries 114 yards, 2 scores
Deion Hankins the RB had 99 yards, not his career high.
- Sincere McCormick — UTSA: 23 carries 251 yards 2 scores
- Cameron Peoples — App State (bowl): 23 carries 319 yards 5 scores
M. Williams had 101 also. And one called back that would have been 70 yards.
Simply put, NT was the team to play if you wanted to set a career high.
Former players — this was his second go-around here at NT — tweeted stories of his curious motivational tactics and their ineffectuual results. To put it plainly: The results suggest he was not very good at coordinating the defense here at NT.
Littrell gave him as good of a send-off as he could, considering everything. I imagine the hard conversations happened after the bowl game but nothing was announced until after the holidays. It is a new year and it is time for everyone to look toward the future. Bowen will catch on someplace. He has enough skins on the wall and 2020 was a big enough rug under which to sweep almost any kind of performance. He spent a lot of time trying to win over the broadcast crews that came through so he should be practiced at spinning the tale.
Seth Littrell has now fired two defensive coordinators — not to mention the OC he let go last year, but that worked out fine — in two seasons. It is fair to question his insight on that side of the ball considering his results, just as it is right to give him the benefit of the doubt with his offensive choices. The results suggest he knows his offense and he is struggling to pick the defense.
Seth Littrell once turned down Kansas State because he wanted full control of his staff. With that responsibility and power comes the judging eye and quick twitter fingers of the fandom.
If he wants unsolicited amateur advice maybe he considers a guy that just came on the market. . .
It is very similar to, “sometimes you grab the bull and get the horns” and other phrases that essentially, mean “there is good and bad”.↩