Florida State announced the death of Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden on Sunday. He was 91 years old.
In late July, Bowden and his family released a statement saying the coach had been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition. His son Terry later told reporters the terminal condition was pancreatic cancer.
“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 July statement. “My wife Ann and our family have been life’s greatest blessing. I am at peace.”
By one metric, Florida State’s Bobby Bowden stands alone among college coaches
Florida State president John Thrasher released a statement on Bowden’s passing Sunday morning.
“Florida State University has lost a legend in the passing of Bobby Bowden,” Thrasher said. “On behalf of everyone at FSU, Jean and I extend our deepest condolences to Ann and the Bowden family. 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, a native of Birmingham, Ala, got his first start coaching college football at Samford, where he played from 1949 through 1952. He led the Bulldogs (then called Howard) to a 31-6 record from 1959-62, never losing more than two games in a season. He took over for West Virginia in 1970, leading the Mountaineers to a 42-26 record over six seasons.
He coached Florida State from 1976 to 2009, compiling a career record of 377-129-4. He won two national championships (1993, 1999) and 12 ACC championships (1992-2000, 2002-03, 2005). He is the only coach in NCAA history to win 11 consecutive bowl games (1985-95) and the only one to have 14 consecutive bowl appearances (1982-95) without a loss. He was named National Coach of the Year six times (1979, 1980, 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1999).
People in the college football community paid their respects to the late coach.
Today, we lost a legend. Bobby was a great friend and mentor to me, and his impact transcended the coaching profession in so many ways. Sending love to Ann and the entire Bowden family.
Rest In Peace Coach Bowden. pic.twitter.com/om6LRmkkIo
— Urban Meyer (@CoachUrbanMeyer) 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
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
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
Prayers for Ann and the Bowden family! Much love and respect and thankfulness for Coach’s influence on my life!!
— Mark Richt (@MarkRicht) August 8, 2021
Bobby Bowden was an icon in the football coaching world, but he was even more legendary for dedicating his life to building young men into great citizens, husbands, fathers and leaders. His impact will be felt for decades to come.
God bless his family and all those he impacted.
— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) August 8, 2021
I thank God for my relationship with Coach Bowden! I am so grateful to play for Coach Bowden.He built into our spirits”Faith,Family,Football” in that order! I will miss him and I hope to honor his legacy with how I live my life. RIP Coach B! pic.twitter.com/ndvP1ImVJb
— Derrick Brooks (@DBrooks55) August 8, 2021
Coach Bowden, this @espn video is a perfect representation of you! When you recruited me, you promised my family that you’d support me as a football player AND as a student. You helped ALL of us be better men, leaders, and Christians. We love you, Coach. Thank you for everything! pic.twitter.com/53PvstBwCO
— Myron Rolle, MD (@MyronRolle) August 8, 2021
Our condolences to the Bowden Family and the Florida State football program on the passing of Bobby Bowden, who was instrumental in making the UM-FSU rivalry one of the greatest in college football.
Rest in peace, Coach. pic.twitter.com/MdGuy1gGk5
— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) August 8, 2021
“He was the model. He was such a great example of not losing sight of the main thing: a man of faith, a great husband, a great father.” – Dabo Swinney in July on Bobby Bowden
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) August 8, 2021
Samford University mourns the loss of legendary alumnus, former football player and head coach Bobby Bowden, forever a Samford Bulldog. pic.twitter.com/eYiPNTxAN0
— Samford University (@SamfordU) August 8, 2021