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B.A., University of Notre Dame; M.A., Admin/Education, University of San Francisco
Bowen began his athletic career In 1987 as director of athletics at De La Salle High School in Concord, CA, followed by 2 years as director of foundations and corporate relations at Saint Mary’s College of California, where he also served as Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Interim Director of Athletics.
After two years as director of community affairs with the San Francisco 49ers, and later the executive director of the 49ers Foundation, Tom Bowen became athletic director at San Jose State University in 2004. For the next 8 years, he systematically rebuilt the football program, resulting in the Spartans’ first bowl appearance in 25 years, and the improvement of sports teams and athletic facilities.
As director of athletics at the University of Memphis from 2012 to 2019, Bowen inherited a football program that was 5-31 and had not experienced a winning season since 2007. In 2014, Memphis won a bowl game for the first time since 2005 and finished the football season ranked in the AP Coaches Top 25 poll for the first time. In 2017, the University spent 9 weeks in a row ranked in the top 25 and finished the 2017 season with 10 wins. Bowen has been praised for leading the $40 million capital upgrade campaign of Memphis’ athletic facilities and for the improved academic performance of Tigers athletes during his tenure. In addition, he oversaw the transition of the Tigers sports program from Conference USA to the new American Athletic Conference.
From March 2021 to May 2022, Bowen served as Vice Chancellor of Intercollegiate Athletics at Arkansas State University, where his new budget policies, procedures and operations resulted in $1.9 million in savings. He negotiated agreements with Coca-Cola, Learfield, Taymar and Adidas; created and launched the silent phase of a capital campaign for a new baseball facility; and led the campaign that resulted in a new 42,000 square-foot academic facility for athletics.
He has served on the NCAA Division 1 Football Oversight Committee and is a member of the College Athletic Business Management Association, and the College Football Play-off Athletic Directors Advisory Council. He is a motivational speaker for Fortune 500 companies including Fed Ex, International Paper, NCAA, the NFL, and NACDA.
Bowen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Arts in Administration/Education from University of San Francisco.
Currently, he is the president of Bellwether Athletic Leadership Strategy Company, which he founded in March 2019. A national consulting company for Division I, II, III Collegiate Athletic programs, Bellwether also specializes in providing private educational institutions with leadership strategies, feasibility studies, strategic plans, fundraising expertise/structures, and organizational design and efficiencies.
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