Legendary Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden and his family announced on Wednesday that the 91-year old has been diagnosed with a terminal health condition, the Tallahassee Democrat first reported.
“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 via a statement. “My wife Ann and our family have been life’s great blessing. I am at peace.”
The family has asked for privacy as Bowden deals with his health.
Current FSU head coach Mike Norvell issued a brief statement of support for the FSU legend.
“Praying for Coach Bowden and his entire family,” Norvell shared via a tweet. “Incredible man who is loved by so many and the Nole Family is with him.”
FSU issued additional statements after the news became public.
STATEMENT FROM FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT JOHN THRASHER
“Jean and I are deeply saddened about the news on our friend, the legendary Bobby Bowden, and we extend our thoughts and prayers to Bobby, Ann and the entire Bowden family. Coach Bowden built a football dynasty and raised the national profile of Florida State University, and he did it with dignity, class and a sense of humor. Although his accomplishments on the field are unmatched, his legacy will go far beyond football. His faith and family have always come first, and he is an incredible role model for his players and fans alike. He is beloved by the FSU family.”
STATEMENT FROM DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS DAVID COBURN
“Bobby Bowden has meant everything to Florida State athletics and so much to college football in general. He has influenced so many people beyond just the players he coached, and the staff who had the privilege of working with him. He is a part of the heart and soul of FSU, but it goes beyond even that – he is a big part of the history of the game. Anyone who has had the opportunity to be around Coach Bowden knows what it is like to know a person who has his priorities in the right order, who loves life and values integrity and honor.”
Bowden led FSU to two of their three National Championships in school history. He earned the Associated Press and Coaches Poll National Title in 1993 and a BCS National Championship in 1999. He also led FSU to 12 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships during his time at the helm for the Seminoles.
Bowden stepped down following the 2009 season, just weeks after his 80th birthday. His final coaching appearance for the Seminoles came during the 2010 Gator Bowl as FSU earned a 33-21 victory over his former program, West Virginia.
Bowden’s collegiate head coaching career at the highest level began at West Virginia in 1970. Bowden finished his career second in all-time wins by a Division I – Football Bowl Subvision coach with 377 wins (377-129-4).
He came to FSU in 1976 and led the program to new heights over his 34 seasons as the head coach in Tallahassee.
Bowden and his wife, Ann, have six children; daughters Robyn and Ginger and sons Steve, Terry, Tommy and Jeff.