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Bobby Bowden Remembered

Bobby Bowden
Mark Foley
Bobby Bowden honored by the Florida Legislature

Hall of Fame former Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden has died. Bowden, 91, died at his Tallahassee home Sunday, according to a statement from FSU.


Bowden led the FSU Seminoles for 34 seasons. Along the way, he won more than 300 games, a dozen Atlantic Coast Conference championships and two national titles in 1993 and 1999, significantly boosting FSU’s national profile and helping it become a powerhouse.

In April, Bowden became the first recipient of the Florida Medal of Freedom, the latest in a long line of accolades and awards.

During a ceremony at the governor’s mansion, Gov. Ron DeSantis acknowledged Bowden’s faith-based approach to coaching and his contributions to Florida State University. Bowden gave credit to his players and coaches and thanked DeSantis for the award.

"I will treasure it the rest of my life, which I don’t know how long that’ll be," the hall-of-fame football coach said to laughter. "Once you get to 90, you don’t worry about the future too much. You worry about that same day.”

Florida State University has lost a legend in the passing of Bobby Bowden,” said FSU President John Thrasher in a statement. “Coach Bowden built a football dynasty and raised the national profile of Florida State University, and he did it with class and a sense of humor. While he leaves an incredible legacy as one of the best football coaches in collegiate history, he also will be remembered for his great faith, his love of family and his mentorship of countless young people. He will be profoundly missed.”

Bowden was an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump, appearing alongside the President and endorsing him during a 2015 campaign stop in Tallahassee.

“Bobby Bowden was a great coach, friend, and champion. He was a man of tremendous faith who inspired many. Seminole football and all patriotic Americans will miss him greatly,” the former President said in a statement.

“Today as we mourn the passing of Coach Bobby Bowden, I reflect on his amazing legacy not just as a coach, but as a man, a mentor and an incredible person of faith. Please join me in keeping his family in prayer during this difficult time,” said former Heisman winning quarterback and NBA star, Charlie Ward.

Statements of mourning from Bowden’s former players to politicians continued to roll in as news of his death spread. Bowden announced in late July he had a terminal illness.

“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 at the time.

The legendary coach will lie in honor in the Florida Capitol Rotunda Friday, August 13th from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. From 2 p.m.-7 p.m. he will lie in repose at the Moore Athletic Center at Doak Campbell Stadium. Both will be open to the public.

On Saturday, August 14th, funeral services will take place at the Tucker Civic Center at 11 a.m.

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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