Please don't let recent academic problems and a few down seasons tarnish the reputation of the man who turned FSU from an also ran to a feared national champion. Bobby Bowden is a great coach, a fantastic leader, and mentor to his players but he also set an example as a man of faith for all to admire. He should be remembered as such.
For those who may only want to look back at the past few years of on the field performance let me refresh your memory of a few things:
- Second winningest coach in major college football history with 388 career coaching victories
- The only coach in the history of Division I-A football to compile 14 straight 10-win seasons (1987-2000)
- Coached the Seminoles to consensus National Championships in 1993 and 1999
- His 1999 National Championship team is the first in college football history to go wire-to-wire as the Associated Press' No. 1 ranked team
- Set NCAA records with 11 consecutive bowl victories (1985-95) and 14 straight bowl trips without a loss (1982-95)
- 12 ACC Championships since the school joined the conference in 1992
- Ranks first among active coaches for winning percentage in bowl games and has led the Seminoles to 27 straight bowl games - the longest current streak in the nation
- Has guided FSU to 30 bowl appearances in 33 seasons, including 27 straight
- Since 1993, Florida State has played in the national championship game five times (1993 Orange vs. Nebraska, 1996 Sugar vs. Florida, 1998 Fiesta vs. Tennessee, 1999 Sugar vs. Virginia Tech, and 2000 Orange vs. Oklahoma)
- Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, FSU has reached one of the BCS bowl games six times
- Patriarch of the first father-son duo to lead Division I-A programs, let alone to lead them at the same time
These superlatives only begin to scratch the surface of the impact on the game that Coach Bowden has had. He was an innovator who was not afraid to take his Seminoles anywhere to play anyone anytime but I bet he will be remembered most for his charm, wit, and his insistence on doing things his way. The "Bowden Way". Coach Bowden you will be missed on the sidelines and in the lives of all the young men who you were a father figure to during all those years. A statue (like yours that my son and I are pictured in front of) is not enough recognition for all you have done. On behalf of Seminoles everywhere we say thank you for all you have done throughout the years. There will never be another. Thank you Coach.