Bobby Bowden, the Hall of Fame folk coach who made the state of Florida into an unprecedented college football dynasty, has passed away. He was 91 years old.
Bobby’s son, Terry, confirmed to The Associated Press that his father died at his home in Tallahassee, Florida, surrounded by his family early this morning.
“It was really peaceful” Terry Bowden said in a text message to AP.
Bobby Bowden announced on July 21 that he was suffering from a terminal illness which Terry Bowden later referred to as pancreatic cancer. Bobby Bowden was treated for prostate cancer over ten years ago.
“I have always tried to serve God’s purpose for my life, on and off the pitch, and I am prepared for what is to come,” Bowden, a devout Christian, said at the time. “My wife, Ann, and our family have been life’s greatest blessing. I am at peace. “
Bowden was loved by Seminoles fans, respected by his peers and throughout his life one of college football’s most accessible stars. Her home number has been listed in the Tallahassee telephone directory for years.
With Southern charm and spirit, Bowden racked up 357 wins in his 40 years as a major college coach, from little Samford – his alma mater, then known as Howard College – to Virginia – Western and finally to the State of Florida, where he went 315-98-4. The Seminoles have been a force in his 34 seasons as a coach, winning 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and national titles in 1993 and 1999.
During one stretch, from 1987 to 2000, his teams won 10 games and finished in the AP’s top five 14 times in a row.
Bowden’s 357 major college wins are second all-time behind Joe Paterno’s 409 at Penn State.
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