2010-11: Bruce Fowler starts his second year as Assistant Head Coach in charge of defense. He will also mentor Commodore linebackers this season.
Prior to getting promoted to assistant head coach/defense, Fowler served seven years as defensive coordinator.
Fowler's defensive staff has developed a unit that has ranked among the nation's elite in recent years. The 2008 defense was one of the best in recent team history, and a key factor behind Vanderbilt's 7-6 season and Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl win, ranking high in scoring defense, total defense and pass defense. Last year, the unit also ranked among the NCAA Top 50 in scoring defense and ninth in the nation in pass defense. The unit also has earned a reputation for being opportunistic, producing a positive turnover margin in 2008-09.
Five former defenders during the Fowler tenure - Myron Lewis, D.J. Moore, Jonathan Goff, Jovan Haye and Hunter Hillenmeyer - have been selected in the NFL Draft. Moore and Hillenmeyer are with Chicago; Goff and Haye are starters for the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans, respectively. Three others, Ryan Hamilton, Curtis Gatewood and Reshard Langford, are currently on NFL rosters.
Fowler served as Johnson's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Furman. Their relationship on the field dates to the 1970s when Johnson was Fowler's position coach at Furman.
Fowler served 16 seasons at Furman. After beginning as a graduate assistant in 1984, Fowler's responsibilities at Furman progressed throughout his tenure. The defense was critical to Furman's 30-9 success from 1999-2001, two conference titles, three I-AA playoff berths and a 2001 national runnerup finish.
Fowler worked with the Furman secondary for six years prior to coaching Paladin linebackers. He mentored six all-conference performers, including All-Americans, Will Bouton and John Keith. He also served several years as an offensive assistant before moving to the defensive staff.
Fowler earned two letters at Furman. He was a member of the Paladins' first conference championship in 1978, started in the secondary in 1979, and played on Furman's 1980 league champion team. He earned a B.S. and M.A. degree in physical education from the university.
Fowler is married to the former Lindy Gilman. They are the parents of a son, Jake, 15, and daughter, Madison, 13.