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College football world reacts to Bobby Bowden’s passing

Associated Press via Tallahassee Democrat

Legendary Florida State Seminoles football coach Bobby Bowden has died.

He was 91.

“Coach Bowden was one of the greatest coaches ever, but more than that he was an incredible man,” current head coach Mike Norvell said. “He was a special human being who earned an enduring legacy because of his wonderful heart, faith and values he lived. It was the honor of my lifetime to know him and beyond anything I could dream to have a relationship with him. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been impacted by Coach Bowden and particularly with his wife Ann, their children, grandchildren, former players and coaches. The entire Florida State family is hurting right now at the loss of our program’s patriarch.”

Bowden was a college football iconoclast who took over the reins at FSU in 1976 and led the Seminoles through the 2009 season. He was a primary figure in ushering in the high-powered offensive attacks that now pervade the college landscape. In his 34 years at Florida State, Bowden took what was a middling ’Nole program to the ranks of the college football elite, punctuated by national championships in 1993 and 1999. His 346 career wins are the second-most in FBS history.

Florida State University has lost a legend in the passing of Bobby Bowden,” outgoing FSU president John Trasher said. “On behalf of everyone at FSU, Jean and I extend our deepest condolences to Ann and the Bowden family. Coach Bowden built a football dynasty and raised the national profile of Florida State University, and he did it with class and a sense of humor. While he leaves an incredible legacy as one of the best football coaches in collegiate history, he also will be remembered for his great faith, his love of family and his mentorship of countless young people. He will be profoundly missed.”

He battled COVID-19 in 2020, emerging from the battle weakened but victorious. After taking a few years away from the program, he returned a familiar face and presence, notably planting the spear vs. NC State in 2013.

“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 in July 2021 after being diagnosed with a terminal disease. “My wife Ann and our family have been life’s greatest blessing. I am at peace.”

Here are some posts from the college football world at large reacting to the passing of a legend.