Tom Bowen steps down as Memphis athletic director

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen has stepped down after seven years, and Allie Prescott has been named his replacement on an interim basis.

President M. David Rudd announced the moves Tuesday and said a search for a new athletic director will start immediately.

"I have made the decision to step down as director of athletics to pursue a new career opportunity," Bowen said in a statement. "I know that the athletic program here at the University of Memphis will continue to achieve great success both in the classroom and on the fields and courts of competition. It has been my privilege to serve this university."

During Bowen's tenure, Memphis opened a new basketball practice facility in November 2017. Also, a new baseball training facility was recently finished and a new football facility is under construction. In football, Memphis won the 2014 American Athletic Conference title and has back-to-back AAC West Division titles with the Tigers on a school-record streak of five straight bowl games.

Memphis hired Penny Hardaway as basketball coach in March 2018 just two seasons after hiring Tubby Smith on a five-year contract. The Tigers have not reached the NCAA Tournament since 2014.

Women's soccer won its first AAC Tournament title this year and earned NCAA Tournament berths in 2016 and 2018. Men's golf also won its first AAC championship.

Rudd said Prescott is the right person for Memphis during the search for Bowen's replacement.

"Allie Prescott is quintessential Memphis," Rudd said. "Growing up as a Tiger, he has played a pivotal role in supporting the University of Memphis and the city of Memphis in his lifetime. Allie is the perfect person to lead Memphis athletics in this transitional period."

Prescott played baseball at then-Memphis State before earning his law degree in 1972. He was president and general manager of the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds between 1997 and 2001. He was vice president and general manager of the Double-A Memphis Chicks from 1979-1982. He's also was a basketball official in the Southeastern Conference and Conference USA, working five NCAA Tournaments, the last in 1992.

"I am humbled and honored to be asked by President Rudd to serve as interim athletic director," Prescott said in a statement. "I will serve this university proudly for however long it takes President Rudd and the Board of Trustees to find the perfect, permanent athletic director. ... It is now time for me to roll up my sleeves and get to work."


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