MONROE, La (KARD/KTVE) – In a socially distant effort, the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s (ULM) football program officially entered Terry Bowden time. Bowden said this era could have started nearly six years ago.

“After the 2015 season, a contingent of folks here came up to visit me about the job.” Bowden continued, “It didn’t work out at that point in time and I thought Matt did a great job of getting this program as far as he can get it, but this year I got another call from a group here.”

Everyone inside ULM’s Bayou Pointe was thrilled Coach Bowden even took the call this time. That includes his father, college football legend Bobby Bowden.

Bobby Bowden said, “If it can be fixed, he can fix it. He has to have the support of the administration. I think a lot of the schools where they are unsuccessful is because the administration did not necessarily want it. I get a different feeling here. They want to succeed.”

That success begins with a strong staff underneath. Along for the ride, NLU standout Alonzo Hampton, and coaching veteran Rich Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said, “I wasn’t on the radar at all until Terry got the job. Of course, Terry and I are friends and I just messaged him congratulations and then it followed up with ‘what’s your son going to do’ and then after that, he said why don’t you come work with him. That’s not the idea I was thinking of. I was just trying to find a place for my son. The staff he’s put together, I’ve got so much respect for the Bowden Family and Terry in particular.”

The last time the program won a national championship was in 1987 under the leadership of Pat Collins. He sees a lot of similar pieces in play to get to the promised land, or somewhere close to it.

Collins said, “I was extremely impressed with Coach Bowden and then I’m really impressed with his father, whom I had a chance to meet with after the meeting was over. I think you say all of the good things, he’s put together his staff and looks like they’re ready to roll.”