Former Florida state football coach Bobby Bowden diagnosed with terminal illness
Hall of Fame varsity football coach Bobby Bowden announced on Wednesday that he had been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
“I’ve always tried to serve God’s purpose for my life, on and off the pitch, and I’m ready for what’s to come,” Bowden said in a statement to news outlets, including The Associated Press. “My wife Ann and our family have been the greatest blessing in life. I am at peace.”
Bowden, 91, was hospitalized last October after testing positive for COVID-19. The positive test came days after returning home in Tallahassee after a long hospital stay with a leg infection. He did not disclose his condition in his statement.
“Coach Bowden built a football dynasty and raised the national profile of Florida State University, and he did so with dignity, class and a sense of humor,” said the president of Florida State John Thrasher in a statement. “Although his achievements on the pitch are unmatched, his legacy will extend far beyond football. His faith and family have always been the priority, and he is an incredible role model to his players and fans. He is loved by the crowd. FSU family. “
Bowden retired after the 2009 season with a Gator Bowl victory over West Virginia in Florida State’s 28th straight playoff appearance.
Bowden had wanted to coach another season to continue this quest for 400 wins, but Florida state officials did not renew his contract. He was replaced by offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher.
“Anyone who’s had the opportunity to be around Coach Bowden knows what it’s like to know someone who has their priorities in the right order, who loves life and values integrity and honor.”
Mississippi state football coach Mike Leach, the architect of some of the most prolific offenses in football history, said Bowden was an example for every coach.
“He’s one of those guys who made us all want to train when we were younger, who made it exciting,” said Leach. “Coach Bowden threw the ball before most people wanted to. When I was young, in high school, in college, I used to watch his teams because it’s a team that was likely to upset the teams in front of them, and that is also they started to throw the ball, became more and more explosive. “