FSU Paying Tribute to Late Coaching Legend Bobby Bowden With Helmet Sticker, Field Logos

by Suzanne Halliburton

Dadgum, we know that Bobby Bowden would be proud of how Florida State plans to honor the legendary coach this season.

The folksy, charismatic Bowden died Aug. 8. He was 91. And he passed away about a month after the family announced that the Florida State athletic icon was suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Florida State kicks off its season Sunday night against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It’s a game Bobby Bowden would relish, with a post-season bowl-like atmosphere in the early September heat and humidity. In fact, he’d be tickled with it. There would be lots of Dadgums, his favorite expression.

The Seminoles will spend all season honoring Bobby Bowden. His classic signature will be on each helmet, with players also wearing it as a patch on the shoulder of their jerseys.

But that’s not all Florida State plans to do for Bobby Bowden. The coach was known for his hat — he’d throw it into the end zone stands at the end of home games. And Florida State workers painted the hat and his “Bobby” signature on each 25-yard line. That’s so appropriate. After all, it’s Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium. That same logo will be on a tribute banner in the south end zone. The hat and Bobby signature will be in gold on a garnet background.

There’s already a Bowden statue outside the stadium.

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Family, Friends and Fans Honored Bobby Bowden in Multiple Memorial Services

Funeral services for Bobby Bowden were conducted over four days in August in Tallahassee, Fla. and Birmingham, Alab. He was buried Aug. 16 in Trussville, a few miles from Birmingham.

Bobby Bowden spent 32 seasons as head coach of Florida State. During that time, he only suffered through one losing season. And that was his first. He turned the Seminoles into a powerhouse, winning national championships in 1993 and 1999. In 2009, his final season, Bowden’s Seminoles slipped to 7-6. He retired as the winningest coach in NCAA Division I-A history.

Bobby Bowden married Ann, the love of his life, when both were teenagers. He was 19, she was 16. They were married for 72 years and the two lived in the same house for 45 of them. The two were parents to six children. Two of them — Terry and Tommy — became college football head coaches like their dad.

Ann Bowden Talked About Her Husband’s Faith in Recent Interview

Ann Bowden talked about life with her husband in an interview last month with the Tallahassee Democrat. Most knew that Bobby was a strong Christian.

“That’s what made our marriage so great.” Ann Bowden said. “We married so young, probably too young. But we had a faith that taught us what to expect and settle for in life. I still don’t understand some of it.

“But (God) knew He had plans for Bobby. I think He chose me to be his partner. And I think Bobby followed His plans all of his life. Still, when it comes right down to it though, it’s difficult.”

Seminole fans paid tribute to their coach in a public ceremony that lasted almost three hours. The Florida State band performed to end the memorial service. Ann said she could almost see her husband appear and throw his hat into the band.

He’d probably say Dadgum, don’t be sad. He’s in a better place.