Memphis, TENN. --- Tom Bowen was named the University of Memphis Director of Athletics in a press conference Monday afternoon in the Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame assembly room. Bowen will officially start work on the U of M campus in June.
Bowen will lead the Athletics Department at the University of Memphis after serving as the Athletic Director at San Jose State University since December 2004.
“The search committee and I wanted someone who could continue the progress of Tiger Athletics developed over the last 16 years under the leadership of R.C. Johnson,” said University of Memphis President Dr. Shirley C. Raines. “Tom Bowen was the unanimous choice of the search committee. He was highly recommended as a man of integrity, ingenuity and competent leadership.”
While at San Jose State, the core of Bowen’s mission was building a “Culture of Champions” academically, athletically and in the community. To reach that end, Bowen instilled a greater sense of purpose, commitment and execution from student-athletes, coaches, staff, alumni and friends.
An integral member of the SJSU’s presidential staff, Bowen created and implemented short and long-term revenue streams for intercollegiate athletics. He led the Spartan Foundation – the department’s fund-raising component – through consistently challenging and uncertain economic conditions to unprecedented fiscal heights at the university. The Spartans produced annual budget surpluses four straight years under his direction and re-invested their gains back into their student-athletes and teams.
In his first four football seasons (2005-08), San Jose State produced more wins than any at the school since 1990-93. Last year, the Spartans were one of the most improved teams in the FBS with road wins at Colorado State and Fresno State and a home triumph in their first meeting with Navy. The 2006 through 2008 Spartans were the first three SJSU teams to post consecutive .500 or better records in the Western Athletic Conference football standings. The 2006 Spartans capped their finest season in many years, posting a 9-4 overall record and capturing the New Mexico Bowl championship.
Recent athletics accomplishments add to his “Culture of Champions.” Women’s golf, women’s soccer, baseball and women’s swimming are the latest teams to win a Western Athletic Conference championship. Women’s water polo is a consistent top-10 national program. Women’s swimming finished 2008-09 with the longest dual meet winning streak in Division I. Women’s gymnastics is entrenched as a NCAA Regional Championship qualifying team. Men’s basketball, men’s soccer and men’s golf have produced measurable gains, particularly in conference competition.
The Spartans have earned All-America honors in football, women’s golf, baseball and women’s water polo. San Jose State had its first women’s gymnastics individual NCAA Regional champion in 2009. Twelve student-athletes were honored nationally and more than 100 at the conference level for academic achievements in 2009-10.
Bowen’s vision for student-athlete success and excellence led to the creation of a Student Success Services component. Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores, as measured by the NCAA, have risen steadily and strikingly under his watch and were at a then university-best in 2009 and were surpassed in the 2010 report.
In 2008, San Jose State was named as one of 12 Division I universities cited for Overall Excellence in Diversity in the most recent national study by Texas A&M University on behalf of the NCAA.
Bowen’s proven administrative and managerial record at San Jose State has resulted in meaningful national appointments in college athletics. He served as one of eight Football Bowl Subdivision directors of athletics on the 24-member NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee, an appointment that ended in 2011. In 2009, Bowen was one of 12 named to serve as a mentor to aspiring women and ethnic minority athletics administrators in the NCAA Fellows Leadership Program. He was the Tournament Director for the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Division I Championship first and second rounds games played in San Jose.
Bowen joined the staff at San Jose State after serving three years as the Director of Community Affairs and the executive director of the 49ers Foundation for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. He directed all of the team’s fund-raising activities and was responsible for alumni and current player participation in the community.
His Division I experience at the collegiate level includes athletics administration positions at the University of California and Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. As an assistant and associate director of athletics at the University of California from July 2000 through September 2002, he was responsible for athletics fund-raising. Bowen was credited with developing the first comprehensive planned giving program for the Golden Bears.
At Saint Mary’s College, he was the Director of Foundations and Corporate Relations from May 1995 to January 1997, before being appointed to an associate director of athletics position by the president of the college. From January 1997 through April 2000, he managed the athletics department’s budget, directed a corporate sponsorship program and interacted with the academic senate, faculty and university personnel on student-athlete issues.
His first professional leadership appointment in athletics was at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif. From 1987 through 1995, he held the positions of athletics director and assistant football coach.
The 1983 graduate of the University of Notre Dame majored in theology/sociology and spent six years studying for the priesthood with the Holy Cross Fathers. Bowen went on to earn a master’s degree in administration/education from the University of San Francisco in 1990.
Active throughout the entire Bay Area, he was named to the San Jose Mercury News’ Top-25 Most Powerful Sports Figures in the Bay Area. He served on the board of the San Jose Sports Authority, and was an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco School of Sports Management and at San Jose State University’s Department of Kinesiology, where he taught sports management classes.
He is a Level 2 certified member of the College Athletic Business Management Association (CABMA) and has memberships in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the National Society of Fund Raising Executives.
He and his wife, Mia, are the parents of three children: sons, Andrew and Peter, and, daughter, McKenna.