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Furman hires Vanderbilt DC Fowler as head coach

GREENVILLE, S.C. - Former Furman player and assistant coach Bruce Fowler has returned to the Southern Conference program to become head coach.

Fowler was introduced at a news conference on campus Monday morning. The Cincinnati native served as an assistant coach on the Furman staff for 16 years before spending the last nine seasons as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Vanderbilt University. He succeeds Bobby Lamb, who resigned last month after nine seasons, including a 5-6 record this year.

"I am thrilled with the tremendous opportunity to be the next head football coach at Furman University, my alma mater," Fowler said. "Through the years I have been fortunate to work for and with many outstanding coaches and players. I look forward to continuing and building on Furman football's championship tradition. That will be our goal: to win championships and to represent Furman with the class, pride and integrity it richly deserves."

Fowler first joined the Furman program as a walk-on in 1977 under coach Art Baker. He lettered two years as a cornerback and was a member of Furman's first SoCon championship team in 1978 under Dick Sheridan.

Fowler began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Furman in 1984 and remained in that role a year later when the Paladins finished as the FCS (then-NCAA Division I-AA) runner-up. He was the receivers coach on their 1988 national championship squad.

He departed Furman after the 2001 season to follow head coach Bobby Johnson to Vanderbilt as defensive coordinator.

Fowler's wife, Lindy, is a 1983 Furman graduate, They have a son, Jake, 16, and a daughter, Maddie, 14.

12/13 11:33:46 ET