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Bowden Goes out a Winner
01/03/10 - 10:42 PM
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Stephen Gunter - bio
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JACKSONVILLE- Friday’s 33-21 Gator Bowl win over West Virginia was big for many reasons for Florida State.

It meant they have yet another winning season and it also means that Bobby Bowden closes out his coaching career with a win.

Something he has done many times in his career.

Bobby Bowden, a role-model, a father-figure and a coach, and he excelled in all three during his 44 years in college football.

Bowden will go down as one of the greatest coaches off all time, and it’s much deserved.

389 career wins, two national titles, 14 straight seasons with 10 or more wins and 28 straight bowl appearances.

Bowden closed out his legendary career like the way he should be remembered, as a winner.

“Coming out with a win is kind of a bonus. Here I was looking at the end of my career. I’m either gonna win 388 career games or 389 and don’t either one of them throw me over the hump or anything,” said Bowden.

You couldn’t have written a better story line for Bowden’s last game, being able to close out his career against his former team, West Virginia, in front of a packed house.

But there was still one last thing Bowden wanted to accomplish that he’ll never be able to.

“I wanted 400 so bad. Joe’s going to beat me. They took away those games. Joe’s going to beat me. If I could just get to 400, it would be just me and him at four,” Bowden said.

Even though he didn’t get 400 wins, Bobby says he’s at peace with it all.

“You know, if I won more games than anybody else, which I’m not, Joe is, so what? When I die, I can’t take it with me. There are things in life that are more important. There are just things that are more important than that to me. That’s why I am at peace with myself,” Bowden stated.

More than 350 of Bowden’s former players made the trip to Jacksonville to witness his last game.

And they all had one thing in common; they were influenced on and off the field by Bowden.

“It’s a perfect example of what he means, not only as a coach, but as a person, as a mentor and as a father figure to a lot of people. He’s the best, if you want to simplify it, he’s the best. He’s the best that’s ever been involved in college football. There won’t ever be one like him again,” said former FSU quarterback and Heisman winner Chris Weinke.

“It’s like a family, it’s like a family, you know it. I really appreciate all those boys coming back to the game,” said Bowden.

Bobby Bowden is one of the most respected football coaches in college football. That’s why he’s not only respected by his players, but by his coaches as well.

“He’s not only a friend, but he’s like a father to me. Anytime I had a problem, I’d call him and he’d answer and we would work things out. He’s so meaningful to anything and everybody that is connected with Florida State University,” said FSU assistant coach Chuck Amato.

“He gave me a second chance. He believed in me man. I’m just happy he was our coach and I’m happy to be a part of his dynasty,” said former Bay High star Bert Reed.

In his final press conference, Bowden would deliver one more time with a little bit of comedy.

“I’m interested in this retirement business. I don’t have to set my alarm anymore. I can get up when I get darn good and ready, then like I say, go out and look for a job,” said Bowden.

Bobby Bowden. A winner, a mentor, a legend.


User Comments

Just glad he’s finally GONE!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/04  at  08:47 AM
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