Arkansas State University’s quest to find a new Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics has ended. Chancellor Kelly Damphousse announced Wednesday (March 10) that Tom Bowen, a 25-year veteran in collegiate and professional athletics who owns nearly 15 years of experience as an FBS athletics director, has been hired.
“Our initial candidate profile described a problem solver with a vision for the future of A-State, who understands the important role that athletics plays in the life of our campus and our community, who shares my passion for student success and competition excellence, who has led athletics departments at aspirational and peer programs, who understands the complex challenges facing college athletics, and who can ‘connect’ with all constituencies,” said Damphousse. “It was also important to me that our next AD embraces the principles that comprise our Discover 2025 Strategic Plan. During my many conversations with Tom, I became convinced that his record and passion match perfectly with that profile. I am excited to serve alongside him as he leads our student athletes, coaches, staff members, supporters, and fans forward into the coming years.”
Bowen will make his third stop leading an FBS athletics program after previously completing highly successful stints as the director of athletics at Memphis from 2012-19 and San Jose State from the end of 2004 until June of 2012.
“We were blessed with an extraordinary pool of applicants, which spoke volumes about the way our position is viewed nationally,” said Arkansas State University System President Dr. Charles Welch. “Tom Bowen continued to rise to the top because of his experience of almost 15 years as a sitting AD and his very strong track record of managing and leading university athletics departments. From fundraising success, to student-athlete academic success, to fiscal management, to facilities and program growth, Tom Bowen has excelled at every level, and we are extremely excited about the future of our athletics program under his leadership.”
Arkansas State will hold an 11:00 a.m. press conference Thursday at the Centennial Bank Athletics Operations Center officially introducing Bowen as the Red Wolves’ 12th athletics director. While the press conference will be closed to the general public due to COVID-19 precautions, it will be streamed live on AState.edu, the official web site of Arkansas State University.
Bowen most recently spent the last two years as the president and founder of Bellwether Athletic Leadership Strategies, a national consulting company for Division I, II and III collegiate programs and private educational institutions providing leadership strategies, feasibility studies, strategic plans, fundraising expertise/structures and organizational design and efficiencies.
Along with his history of achievements as a collegiate athletics administrator, which also included stops at the University of California, Berkeley and Saint Mary’s College of California, Bowen’s experience worked closely with college institutions across the nation at Bellwether and as an executive with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.
“I’m very excited and honored to serve as Arkansas State’s athletics director,” said Bowen. “I am grateful to Kelly Damphousse, Chuck Welch and everyone involved in the search process. I truly believe A-State is a special place with a premier athletic and academic identity, and I’m looking forward to being a part of the bright future here. Arkansas State and the Jonesboro community are a perfect fit for me and my family.”
Bowen was previously appointed to the National Board of Athletic Directors (LEAD1 Association). In June 2018, Bowen was named to the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee, and he also served on the College Football Playoff organization’s Athletic Directors Advisory Council in 2014.
Additionally, he served on the Athletic Directors Advisory Board of the BCS in 2013. Bowen was the chair of the American Athletic Conference’s Board of Athletics Directors during his time at Memphis as well. In July 2014, he was voted to represent the American Athletic Conference on the NCAA Division I Leadership Council, an advisory body to the NCAA Division I Board of Directors, by his fellow conference athletics directors.