clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Looking back at the father-son duos in Florida State history

A Father’s Day special.

Bobby and Tommy Bowden Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images

As we celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, it’s the perfect time to look back in the history books at some of the father and son duos in Florida State sports history.


Tharon Mayes (1986-1990) / Xavier Rathan Mayes (2014-2017)

Tharon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes are the first father/son in ACC history to lead their team in scoring during their respective tenures at Florida State. Tharon averaged 26.2 points per game during 1990 with XRM averaging 14.9 during his freshman year in 2014. Both family members wore No. 22 while at FSU.

Michael Polite (1987-1991) / Anthony Polite (2017)

Anthony Polite has yet to step on the Florida State basketball court, but already has a Seminole legacy following him. His father, Michael, scored over 1,000 points for FSU and averaged nearly seven rebounds a game in 1991.


Mario Edwards Sr. (1995-1999) / Mario Edwards Jr. (2012-2014)

The senior was an instrumental part in Florida State’s 1999 National Championship winning season, making 19 tackles and having 9 pass breakups with a forced fumble that season. His son, Mario Edwards Jr. also went on to win a National Championship in 2013, making 28 tackles (3.5 sacks) with a forced fumble as the starting defensive back. It’s rare that you find both a National Championship winning father and son at the same institution. While senior was drafted to the Dallas Cowboys, Junior continues his NFL career with the Oakland Raiders, entering his third year in the league.

David Ponder (1980-1983) / Christian Ponder (2006-2010)

Unlike his son, David was a defensive tackle from Florida State from 1980-1983. He went on to make 131 tackles in his FSU career with 14 of those being sacks. He played in the NFL in 1985 with the Dallas Cowboys. His son, Christian was a first round selection at quarterback after throwing for 6,872 yards and 49 touchdowns in his three years as starter.

Willie Jones (1975-1978) /Christian Jones (2010-2013)

The elder Jones, an All-American honorable mention, was labeled by coach Bobby Bowden as the best player in the country at his position. From 1976-1978, Jones made 262 tackles, 17 sacks and forced seven fumbles as starting defensive end. Jones was inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame in 1988. He would eventually go onto the NFL where he played for three years, all with the Oakland Raiders. His son, Christian, was a linebacker during FSU’s 2013 national championship season. In four years, the younger Jones made 225 tackles with 24 of those for loss, forced two fumbles and had one defensive touchdown. The Chicago Bears would sign him as an undrafted free agent.

Ernie Sims Sr. (1977-1981) / Ernie Sims Jr. (2003-2005 )

Senior, a running back from 1977-1980 before shifting to linebacker, had 273 rushing yards in his career. His son, also a linebacker, made his mark at Florida State earning first team All-American honors in his sophomore year. Before being the No. 9 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft to the Detroit Lions, the younger Sims made 200 tackles and forced three fumbles at Florida State.

Bobby Bowden (1976-2009) / Tommy, Jeff and Terry Bowden.

This father and son combo are unlike the others on the list as they were coaches on the Florida State staff as opposed to players. Bobby Bowden, one of College Football’s greatest head coaches of all-time, went 300-87-4 during his tenure at Florida State. His sons Tommy Bowden (1978-1979, 1981-1982), Jeff Bowden (1986, 1994-2006) and Terry Bowden (1982) all coached at Florida State as well during the denoted years.


Mike Martin Sr. (1975-present) / Mike Martin Jr. (1997-present)

Both Martin’s have been on the Florida State staff for 20 years now with the ‘Noles making seven College World Series appearances with both coaches on staff. Senior is closing in on 2,000 career wins and remains just 32 victories away. Could Mike Martin Jr. be the next head coach in line?

If any of your favorite father-son duos were not included in the list, you can add them in the comments section below.

Have a happy Father’s Day!