Bowen resigns as Memphis athletic director

Field Level Media

May 14, 2019 at 10:34 pm.

Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen has resigned to pursue other opportunities, the school announced Tuesday.

Allie Prescott, the former president of Triple-A baseball’s Memphis Redbirds, has been named interim athletic director while the school conducts a search for Bowen’s permanent replacement.

University President M. David Rudd said at press conference Tuesday, “I don’t want to speak for Tom. (His reason for resigning) is a question that he would need to answer. He submitted a resignation and I accepted it. He wants to look at other alternatives and other options.”

Bowen was selected the school’s athletic director in 2012, during the summer before the Tigers joined the American Athletic Conference in 2013.

He helped to improve the Memphis football program, and hired head coach Mike Norvell who has compiled a 26-14 record in three seasons with the Tigers. Memphis went 8-6 last season and lost to Wake Forest in the Birmingham Bowl, its fifth five straight postseason appearance.

The men’s basketball team, which finished 22-14 this season following a loss in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament, is coached by former NBA player Penny Hardaway, who was hired in March 2018. The Tigers have also played in a new arena since November 2017.

In March, Bowen agreed to a six-month contract extension while he and the school were in negotiations for a new deal. His initial five-year contract included an annual salary of $400,000. A two-year extension in 2015 did not change the financial terms of the original agreement.

Bowen previously was the AD at San Jose State for eight years.

A graduate of Memphis State in 1969, Prescott was named Pacific Coast League Executive of the Year in 2000 while serving as president and general manager of the Triple-A franchise.

Prescott, who has already met with Norvell and Hardaway, doesn’t foresee any major changes in the future of either program.

“I would presume to say that I won’t do much right now except stay out of the way of Coach Hardaway because it seems like things are going awfully well right now, and the same for Coach Norvell,” Prescott said.