College football legend Bobby Bowden dies at 91
The world of college football lost one of its legendary figures on Sunday. Former Florida State head coach and Hall of Famer Bobby Bowden passes away at the age of 91.
Less than three weeks ago, Bowden and his family released a statement in the Tallahassee Democrat, saying that he had been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition.
“I’ve always tried to serve God’s purpose for my life, on and off the field, and I am prepared for what is to come,” Bowden said in the statement. “My wife Ann and our family have been life’s greatest blessing. I am at peace.”
Bowden was the head coach at Florida State from 1976-2009.
In over three decades at Florida State, Bowden compiled a 304-97-4 record and won national championships in 1993 and 1999. His Seminoles teams claimed 12 ACC titles and appeared in a bowl game in all but three seasons.
Prior to taking over at Florida State, Bowden was the head coach at West Virginia from 1970-75 and had a 42-26 record. He was also the leader at Howard from 1959-62 and owned a 31-6 mark.
Bowden’s coaching tree includes names like Mark Richt, Kirby Smart, Manny Diaz, Chuck Amato and Skip Holtz, among many others.
Bowden was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Many of college football’s most prominent figures and voices reacted to the news of Bowden’s passing:
Today we lost a legend but you never lose a legacy. Rest In Peace Coach Bowden pic.twitter.com/f7pQpUPqbJ
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) August 8, 2021
Condolences to the Bowden family. Bobby was a man of faith. He was warm, friendly, kind-remembered everyone. And as a coach? Brilliant. Legendary. By the force of his will, expertise & courage he built one of the game’s great dynasties virtually from scratch. Remarkable life.
— Rece Davis (@ReceDavis) August 8, 2021
Such fond memories of coach Bowden-Both as a fan watching him & his dominating Noles teams & as a young analyst working w/ him-He was a true testament to people will remember you based on how you make them feel-coach was as sweet & as good of a man as I’ve ever met. RIP Coach 🙏🏼 https://t.co/Gvmqk6Vg2N
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) August 8, 2021
Covered Bobby Bowden plenty during my time in Florida, including a one-on-one interview with him at a church at Fort Walton Beach in 1999. One of the most approachable big-name coaches. Always gracious with his time. #RIP
— KevinBrockwayCNHIIndiana (@KevinBrockwayG1) August 8, 2021
We lost a great one today! FAITH, FAMILY & FOOTBALL- nobody did it better than Coach Bowden. I will forever be grateful to have had the opportunity to play for this man. Condolences to the Bowden family and Rest In Peace my friend! #greatestofalltime pic.twitter.com/vKj9zU1SOA
— Chris Weinke (@ChrisWeinke16) August 8, 2021
— Matt Hayes (@MattHayesCFB) August 8, 2021
We lost a great man today. Coach Bowden was one-of-a-kind and touched so many lives. I’m so fortunate to call him a mentor and friend. We send our condolences to all of his family and friends. A legend who will be dearly missed. pic.twitter.com/7STmB8Hjoi
— Mack Brown (@CoachMackBrown) August 8, 2021
God bless the Bowden Family,Friends & Loved ones. My Prayers are with u. I’ve lost 1 of the best coaches I’ve ever had. pic.twitter.com/aNvkMJ704c
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) August 8, 2021
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) August 8, 2021
Bobby Bowden left his mark on the game.
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) August 8, 2021
One of my favorite Bobby Bowden stories. There was pregame brawl before 1998 FSU-UF game & UF QB Doug Johnson threw a football at Bowden but missed. Johnson wasn’t disciplined. Bowden was asked what would have happened if his QB threw at Spurrier. Bowden: "He would have hit him"
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 21, 2021