Bobby Bowden, the Hall of Fame college football coach, said on Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Bowden stated in a statement to news agencies, including The Associated Press, that he has always tried to serve God’s purpose for his life, on and off the field, and that he is prepared for what is to come. “The biggest blessing in my life has been my wife Ann and our family. “I am content.”
Bowden, 91, was sent to the hospital in October after testing positive with COVID-19. The positive test came only days after he returned home to Tallahassee following a lengthy hospital stay due to a leg infection. In his statement, he didn’t say anything about his health.
Bowden coached Florida State for 34 years, compiling a 315-98-4 record and transforming the Seminoles into a national powerhouse, earning 12 Atlantic Coast Conference crowns and national titles in 1993 and 1999. During his 40 years as a collegiate coach, he won 357 games and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
In a statement, Florida State president John Thrasher stated, “Coach Bowden established a football dynasty and increased the national reputation of Florida State University, and he did it with dignity, class, and a sense of humor.” “Although his on-field achievements are unparalleled, his impact will extend well beyond football.” His faith and family have always come first, and he is a fantastic role model for both his teammates and fans. The FSU community adores him.”
Bowden announced his retirement following Florida State’s 28th consecutive postseason participation in the Gator Bowl victory over West Virginia in 2009.
Bowden had hoped to coach another season in order to complete his quest for 400 victories, but his contract with Florida State was not renewed. Jimbo Fisher, the offensive coordinator at the time, took his place.
In a statement, Florida State athletic director David Coburn stated, “Bobby Bowden has meant everything to Florida State athletics and so much to collegiate football in general.” “He is a vital component of FSU’s heart and soul, but he is also a significant figure in the game’s history.”
Bowden has been an example to all coaches, according to Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach, who has designed some of the game’s most productive attacks.
“He’s one of those individuals that inspired us all to want to coach when we were younger,” Leach added. “Coach Bowden tossed the ball earlier than most people expected. I liked to follow his teams when I was younger, in high school and junior high, because they were a team that could upset teams ahead of them, and when they started tossing the ball about, they got more and more explosive.”