AP Photo/Nati Harnik
Former Florida State head coach and college football legend Bobby Bowden announced he has been diagnosed with a “terminal medical condition,” per Jim Henry of the Tallahassee Democrat.
“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,” he told the Tallahassee Democrat in a statement. “My wife Ann and our family have been life’s greatest blessing. I am at peace.”
A number of figures around football shared their best wishes and what Bowden meant to them and the sport after learning of the news on Wednesday:
Mike Norvell @Coach_Norvell
Praying for Coach Bowden and his entire family! Incredible man who is loved by so many and the Nole Family is with him. 🙏🏻
Brett McMurphy @Brett_McMurphy
Mike Leach: “Coach (Bobby) Bowden is a tremendous person. He has been an example for all of us. He made us all want to coach when we were younger”
Edgar Thompson @osgators
Mike Leach said he used to watch Bobby Bowden in jr hs, saying his teams threw the ball before most did. “I don’t think the game would be the same without him.’
Willie Anderson @BigWillie7179
Prayers for Coach Bobby Bowden and his family. We all love Coach ! @FSUFootball
Henry reported that Bowden’s health “deteriorated” after he tested positive for COVID-19 in October. He was also hospitalized in late June and has “struggled to regain his strength.”
“I feel fine but I can’t do much,” he told the Tallahassee Democrat on July 5.
The 91-year-old Bowden went 377-129-4 in his coaching career, trailing only John Gagliardi (489), Joe Paterno (409) and Eddie Robinson (408) in all-time wins among college football head coaches. He won two national championships with Florida State (1993 and 1999), won 12 ACC titles at the school and went to 31 bowl games.
He started his head-coaching career at Howard College (1959-62) before spending six years with West Virginia (1970-75). He joined Florida State in 1976 as the head coach, a position he held until 2009.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.