Bobby Bowden, Legendary Florida State University Football Coach, Dead at 91

by Clayton Edwards

Sad news for the world of college football today. Bobby Bowden, the coach that built Florida State University into a dynasty, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Bobby’s son Terry announced that he died peacefully in his home surrounded by his family early this morning.

Bobby Bowden spent four decades coaching college football. He started at his own alma mater, Samford. Then, he transitioned to West Virginia. Finally, he landed at Florida State University. During that time, he led his teams to over 350 victories. He made the FSU Seminoles a winning team. Under his guidance, the Seminoles took home 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and two national championships, according to the New York Post.

Bobby Bowden retired in 2009. His retirement came after cementing his thirty-third consecutive winning season at Florida State University. In his final game, Bowden led FSU to victory over his former coaching home, West Virginia at the Gator Bowl.

However, Bobby Bowden wasn’t just a legendary college football coach. He was also a cancer survivor. He received treatment for and beat prostate cancer over a decade ago. In July, Bowden announced that he had a terminal illness. His family later confirmed that the illness was pancreatic cancer. That disease has an average of 10% survival rate. So, the odds were stacked against him.

Bowden’s Health Struggles

Last October, Bobby Bowden tested positive for COVID-19. His health had been on the decline since then.

 Bowden received the diagnosis after going to the hospital for an infection on his leg. That infection arose after he had some cancerous spots on his leg removed. By the first of October, Bobby Bowden was back at home with his family. However, a few days later, he tested positive for the virus. On October 6, the legendary coach had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. Once there, he received treatment for COVID 19 and survived. However, he never fully recovered from the virus.

In late October, after fighting off the virus enough to test negative, Bobby Bowden thanked those who kept him in their thoughts and prayers. Those same people will doubtlessly be praying for his family today.

Bobby Bowden Was ‘At Peace’

When Bobby Bowden announced his terminal illness in July, he did so in good spirits. He told the media that he was “at peace,” with his life. The legendary coach said that he was at home with his wife and family. He considered that his “greatest blessing.” This courage in the face of multiple health crises shows that he held onto the grit and spirit that led him through his coaching career to the very end.

Bobby Bowden leaves behind his wife Ann, six children, and 21 grandchildren.