TAMPA — When Todd Bowles wasn’t studying the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense, passing his biggest test as a defensive coordinator by holding them without a touchdown in a 31-9 win in Super Bowl 55, he was cramming for exams to help complete his college degree.
Bowles, the 58-year-old head coach of the Bucs, finished requirements last week for a Bachelor of Science in youth and community development through the Accelerated and Adult Undergraduate Program at Mount St. Mary’s University.
Bowles began classes during the Bucs’ 2020 season at the suggestion of his agent, Anthony Agnone, who is a Mount St. Mary’s alumnus, Class of 1975.
“Completing my degree was something I had always wanted to do over the years, because it was something I had promised my mother when I went to play in the NFL,” Bowles said in a statement provided by the Bucs. “Over the years, as I became a father, it became something I wanted to do in order to become an example for my sons as they continue on their educational paths. I have also worked pretty extensively with children through my various community projects, and I felt it was important to show them they can achieve whatever they set their mind to.”
Bowles has four kids: Todd Jr., Troy, Tyson and Sydni. Todd Jr. is a football player at Rutgers, while Troy is one of the top-rated linebackers in the nation at Jesuit High School and is committed to Georgia.
While Bowles completed his classes online, he shared advice with Mount St. Mary’s sports management students and middle schoolers in the university’s College Experience Camp. He also served as a guest lecturer in the spring of 2021 for a class taught by Associate Professor of Sports Management Corrine Farneti, Ph.D.
“If we could mold someone directly from our mission statement, Todd would be it, from giving back to the community, grit, and strong leadership — he’s it,” Farneti said in a statement.
Bowles began his undergraduate degree at Temple, where he played for coach Bruce Arians. He played cornerback for seven of his eight NFL seasons with the Washington Redskins, where he signed as an undrafted free agent in 1986.
But following his playing career, Bowles went right into coaching with former Redskins and Bucs quarterback Doug Williams at Morehouse College and then Grambling State.
Bowles plans to attend Mount St. Mary’s’ commencement exercises in May 2023 on the campus in Emmitsburg, Md, It just so happens that while the university has 24 Division I athletic teams (most competing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference), it currently does not have a football team.
However, 37 years after leaving Temple to pursue an NFL career, Bowles has his college degree.
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