Bowden to lie in honor at Historic Capitol Museum

Bobby Bowden, the legendary former head football coach at Florida State University (FSU), will lie in honor at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in Tallahassee on Friday. The public viewing will run from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Bowden, 91, the second-winningest football head coach in Division I history, died Sunday morning at his Tallahassee home after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in July.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better personal mentor than my father,” Terry Bowden, the first-year coach at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, said in a statement. “He was a wonderful husband and father, who relied on his strong Christian faith to provide the foundation for his life. I also was fortunate to be raised by a football coach who had a reputation for coaching the right way his entire career. He was admired by everyone who played for him or coached against him. As a family, we will embrace all of those wonderful memories and celebrate a life well lived.”

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Bowden began his coaching career in 1955 as an assistant at Samford University, his alma mater. He went on to head coaching stops stints at Samford (1959-62) and West Virginia (1970-75) before arriving in Tallahassee in 1976. 

Bowden transformed FSU into a college football powerhouse, leading the Seminoles to national championships in 1993 and 1999, as well as 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships. Additionally, Bowden led FSU to 14 consecutive season top-5 finishes from 1987 until 2000, setting a record that doubled the record of the closest program. He retired from coaching in 2009 after 44 seasons.

Bobby Bowden statue at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee

“Coach Bobby Bowden was a truly great man and legendary Floridian,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a statement. “Beyond his historic success on the football field, where he built a dominating football program, he prepared his players to be leaders in their communities and his influence on generations of young men can be seen through the great and far-reaching impacts they have made. Above all, he lived his life guided by a strong and unwavering faith in God, dedication to his family and service to his community.”

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that charitable contributions go to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at 8701 Leeds Road, Kansas City, MO 64129.

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