Awful news for the Florida State Seminoles sports community. Legendary football coach Bobby Bowden announced he is suffering from a terminal medical condition. The 91-year-old said that he is “prepared for what is to come.” Bowden won two national titles as head coach of FSU. Throughout his career, Coach Bowden won more than 350 games.
While he was still coaching the Seminoles, Bowden was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. Last year while seeking treatment for a skin infection, Bowden tested positive for COVID-19. Since that health incident, he has not been able to fully recover. The Seminoles eventually named their field Bobby Bowden Field after their longtime coach. Bowden led the Seminoles from an independent school to joining the ACC in 1992.
Bowden took over the program in 1976. Over the course of his career, Florida State rose to national prominence. The Seminoles had the best winning percentage through the 1990s. Florida State won 89% of their games. Throughout his career, Bowden led his team to many records, #1 rankings, bowl games, and more. In 1993 and 2000 Bowden coached two Heisman Trophy winners. Those included Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke, respectively.
The success that Bowden was able to have as head coach of FSU is the reason why they have been so successful since. Long regarded as one of the greatest college football coaches ever, the recent news from Bowden may mark an end of a certain chapter for many college fans. Even though the illness comes at the end of a long and accomplished life, it does nothing to blunt the sadness that family, friends, and fans feel.
Bobby Bowden End of Life
While the news is shocking, it is nice to see that Coach Bowden seems in good spirits. He told the media, “I am at peace,” and he is currently with his wife and family who he calls his “greatest blessing.” Although he never fully recovered from his battle with COVID-19, his toughness and grit are surely the reason he is still with us at the moment.
Since the new, present Florida State head coach Mike Norvell commented on the news. The second-year head coach said that he was, “Praying for Coach Bowden and his entire family! Incredible man who is loved by so many and the Nole Family is with him.”
It is shocking how much the sport of football and college athletics has evolved in Bobby Bowden’s life. Born in 1929 the game of football looked entirely different from his playing days. Bowden originally went to the University of Alabama for his freshman season. After that year in 1948, Bowden took his talents to Samford, then known as Howard College(AL). There he played quarterback and running back. After a couple of years out of college, Bowden would return to his alma mater as an assistant coach. From there he took his first head coaching job at South Georgia State College.
With a return back to his alma mater, Bowden would first coach for Florida State as a wide receivers coach from 1963-65 after leaving Howard (AL). From there he would move onto West Virginia as offensive coordinator from 1966-1975. In 1976 he made his way to Florida State and the rest, as they say, is history.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Bowden and his family as well as the Florida State community.