Ask anyone who knows him well if they’re willing to talk Chad Bowden and the answer tends to come quickly and usually in the form of “I’d love to.”
We’ve heard plenty from Bowden and others throughout our recent series examining Notre Dame’s recruiting director, but even several long reports didn’t provide enough space to include everything.
Most of these quotes can be heard in our Special Podcast on Bowdenbut here is the rest in print.
BOWDEN AS A FRIEND
“He’s one of those guys that if you had your back to the wall and you could only call one friend, who would you call? You would call Chad. I think rookies gravitate to that idea. Getting to know him through this relationship or building over the phone, coming to campus, et cetera, because there’s no BS here. I think you get thrown around all day, but some guys are genuine and you can tell they’re kind of salt of the earth. He’s always been that. I feel like I always have my radar in place for who can throw BS and who can be real.
BOWDEN’S SUCCESS IN RECRUITMENT
“He’s the glue bro. He’s the glue because he can relate to the kids. You have a lot of places where there are a lot of old people on staff so they can’t relate to the kids. kids. Chad can relate to kids. He has a connection because he’s young. He’s into what kids love.
“A child wants to be around someone who loves what he loves. In some other schools, they don’t even have a clue.
“He has this energy, this vibe. He can relate to children. I thought it was big. I think that’s important, especially if you’re sending your child away from home, you want someone they can relate to. We are in Texas. My son will be in Indiana so he needs people he can relate to who will make him comfortable and Chad makes those kids comfortable.
“There’s just a different vibe around kids when he’s around kids. He has a touch. He’s a major key in everything that’s going on with Coach Freeman because they’re young. It’s a young staff. Coach Freeman, they’re going to be successful there because they’re young.
“He’s just not going to be overwhelmed. I think you see that in Marcus and you see that in Chad. I think that’s why these two bonded because they share a lot of these same ideas. “We can lose that rookie or that rookie, but it will never be because we weren’t going to outplay them.” So you see that with Freeman trying to be the face of all these rookies. You see that with Chad flying and driving all over the country. Every time I hang out with him, he doesn’t have 10 seconds before he’s on the phone with another recruit. We have a conversation between his conversations with the recruits mostly. I think that’s a big part of it.
Irish Sports Daily
Bowden proves he’s real
“My daughter is recruiting, and we’ve had visits this week and various things. A coach actually asked her on the phone tonight what was in recruiting, because they knew she had been through this with her brother. It was really funny because Emma talked about it (finding out who is true and who is false).
“She said, my mom said, ‘Eventually, when you talk to people enough or get close enough to them, the naughty boogers tend to raise their heads, don’t they?’ You will see things arise.
“He just doesn’t know how to be anyone other than who he is… That’s something I’ve also said about Harry Hiestand throughout this story. I don’t think this guy gives enough to lie to you. Do you know what I’m saying? He doesn’t have to because he’s been everywhere, done everything, come out of retirement to do this.
“I think Coach Freeman has surrounded himself with people who have that mindset and I think Chad is one of those guys who’s like, ‘This is who I am. I will be here. That’s what I do. That’s what I believe. Here are the things you need to know about Notre Dame. Here are the things you need to know about us in football, us as academics. That’s who we are. The bottom line for me was, “If that’s not the right person for you, go find the one that’s right for you.” I mean, I’m going to be upset because I want you to come here, but you have to do what’s best for you. You don’t hear people say that.
“When you ask me about the level of integrity, that’s pretty cool.”
“Chad had the ability to stop a bus. My daughter loved the buses. When she was four, he had the ability to stop a bus in our neighborhood, convince the bus driver to drive him and my daughter around the block while he was sitting in the front seat of the block , so she can take the bus for the first time. We come home and he says, ‘Hey, me and Carmen jumped on the bus.’ And my wife was like, ‘Chad, what did you do? You are crazy.
“My daughter loves seeing Chad because he just wouldn’t let her stop playing with him; from tossing the ball to jumping around the trampoline. She thinks Uncle Chad is Uncle Chad like the fun, crazy uncle you see in the movies and you’re like, “Man, we want this guy all the time.” When he’s with my kids, you can tell he’s a kid at heart. Everybody loves him, so naturally what I think the recruiting track has done is every parent is going to say, ‘I want my kid to go to Notre Dame because of the genuine relationships that Chad is building with people.”
“It was really interesting. In fact, my father passed away on Easter Monday. It was a week, I think, before Sam signed up. It was interesting to know who contacted me because they needed something from me. There were coaches who messaged me because they were panicking.
And I answer: “I’m just not going to be useful to you at the moment”. I will not be available to you now. I can’t. It’s not something that’s going to be a priority for me. And it was just our family, what we had just decided. It was OK for us to still be at that time. Those who respected that and then those who reached out to me. I heard Chad, Hiestand and Coach Freeman, when they found out my dad passed away in a very, “Hey, we’re here for you if you need us…yada, yada, yada.” Some coaches contacted other schools and said, “We really need to talk to you.” Like the day after I said, ‘I can’t really talk to you guys.’ This is where you start to see the truth, isn’t it? You start to see what people are made of and what they’re going to bring to the table.
“I’ve listened to Sam’s conversations since then, even. Chad, didn’t just turn it off because Sam decided to commit to it. He is still engaged. They still have conversations. They talk in groups with other recruits, commitments, that sort of thing. You have someone’s idea. He’s a character. He’s a character and he’s a lot of fun, but I think at the end of the day he’s not pretending to be someone he’s not.
Irish Sports Daily
WHAT’S IN RESERVE FOR ND & BOWDEN
“They’re really great people. They’re going to recruit from Notre Dame, which has one of the best academic and athletic institutions in the country. They’re put in a position where they’re going to do their best to take on Notre Dame, USC The only thing against them is name and image and likeness. If USC is really going to pay $3 million for a receiver, I just don’t see Marcus and Chad saying, ‘Well, we’re going to pay a player for that”. We want a great team, the chemistry of the team is not going to be ruined by that.’.
“I can’t wait to see Chad recruit recruiting class number one, Marcus will take care of the team and it will be a perfect freeze as recruiting class number one ends for 23 and how many guys they can recruit for ’24 already and who will jump on the bandwagon.
“I really believe that’s the part where he’s got the best academic institution, he’s got the best college football program in the country to build on. How many people haven’t grown up watching the Notre Dame game on a Saturday? afternoon believing they all wanted to wear the gold helmet I think Chad uses that rich history plus the new genuine relationships and what parent wouldn’t want a Harvard type upbringing right there with their son playing for a championship national.
“He’s a great guy. He’s a great guy for this program. He’s a great guy for his position. »
“They will succeed. I promise you. This is just the beginning. I see the energy, I see the vibe. The children want to come there.
“There is no doubt about it.”
“Look at this class right now and all the kids, all the young black kids who want to come to Notre Dame, who have Notre Dame in their Top 4, Top 5.”
“Chad is the glue of it all.”
“I think the future with him, if he wants to come back on the field, he’ll be a head coach in the future if he wants to or he’ll be an NFL and the director of scouting or the director of personnel. players. I think Chad has to decide what he wants to do in the future. His ability to recruit and know the game of football will take him to where he wants to go in the next five to 10 years.
“I’m 37, Chad is in his mid-twenties. I’m going to want to work for Chad because of the energy he’s going to have and I think the tables are going to reverse. It’s going to happen in my career at at some point i’m going to work with him because what he’s done is going to take him somewhere i hope one day chad will give me the opportunity to coach college football and see it from his perspective of view because it’s fun building the fundamentals in high school but it’s also one of those things where working for a guy that you really think you can do and you believe in him from day one is the part where I don’t think a lot of people have ever had that in their career seeing their player become a guy you want to work with at some point in their career because you believe in them so much.
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