Prairie View A&M athletic department officials confirmed that the school has landed its new head football coach. Former interim head coach Bubba McDowell is the new full-time head coach with the Panthers. McDowell was hired after former head coach Eric Dooley left the program to assume head coaching duties with Southern University.
McDowell was the interim head coach before the school interviewed other candidates as a part of its national search for a head coach.
He becomes another ex-NFL player or coach to become a head coach for an HBCU sports program. The Fort Gaines native has been with Prairie View's coaching staff for ten seasons as assistant head coach and defensive backs coach.
The Houston Oilers drafted McDowell out of the Universit of Miami in the 1989 NFL Draft as the 77th overall pick in the third round. He played safety with the young corps of defensive backs nicknamed "The Young Guns." The All-Pro (1991) defensive back spent his NFL career with Houston (1989-1994) and Carolina (1995). He was honored as the Houston Oilers' Ed Block Courage Award recipient.
McDowell finished with 486 tackles, five sacks, seventeen interceptions, ten forced fumbles, and six fumble recoveries.
The Panthers solidify the position with McDowell after most of the SWAC and other HBCU schools have made offers to others for their open positions. Also, this will help the Panthers' recruiting efforts to stay competitive in the SWAC.
Last season, Prairie View won the SWAC West division title under Eric Dooley's leadership. Most of his assistants followed him to Southern University to complete his crop of assistants. Now, McDowell must get to work building his staff on The Hill.
OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM PRAIRIE VIEW
PRAIRIE VIEW - Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) Athletic Director Donald Reed has announced the appointment of Leonard “Bubba” McDowell as PV’s new head football coach. The appointment follows McDowell’s brief stint in the interim head coach role after former head coach Eric Dooley’s departure in December.
McDowell will inherit a promising and experienced team that finished the 2020 season with a 7-5 record overall and a 6-2 conference record, leading to a western division title within the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Long regarded as a vital component of the team’s success, he has been credited with helping to build the current program alongside Dooley. He served as the assistant head coach for the past eight seasons while also leading the development of the defensive unit over the past three seasons. He also spearheaded recruitment efforts and advanced the team’s range of skills after joining the staff in 2011.
McDowell began his coaching career through a series of appointments at Houston-area collegiate programs after engaging in extensive development through the National Football League’s (N.F.L) minority coaching program. McDowell had a successful career as a starting safety in the NFL with the Houston Oilers and the Carolina Panthers. He retired in 1996.
“I’m proud to have Coach McDowell as our new head of the football program,” said PVAMU Athletic Director, Donald Reed. “I chose Coach McDowell because of his vast and successful experiences in collegiate and professional football. His leadership style and student-athlete centered approach align with our goals to see our athletes excel in the classroom, on the field, and in the community. I’m impressed by Coach McDowell’s commitment to PV and I know he’ll lead us to accomplish great things.”
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