Former Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden speaks to associates of the Scotts Company in this file photo. Bowden spoke during a luncheon several years ago at the Union County Family YMCA. On Wednesday, the 91-year-old Hall of Fame coach revealed he has a terminal medical condition. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Some very sad news from the world of college football was revealed on Wednesday.
The legendary Bobby Bowden, the Hall of Fame coach from Florida State University, revealed he has a terminal medical condition.
He did not reveal the nature of his illness.
It’s been a number of years ago, but I remember when I had the opportunity to listen to Bowden speak in Marysville.
He gave the keynote address to associates from the Scotts Company during a luncheon at the Union County Family YMCA.
I had heard Bowden interviewed a number of times on television and read a couple of books about him over the years.
He always came across as a true southern gentleman who never had an axe to grind and honestly enjoyed the company of people.
That’s exactly how he conducted himself when he spoke here.
There was no air of pretentiousness or arrogance.
There was no “I’m Bobby Bowden and you’re not” type of attitude. He was just so very much down-to-earth.
Once the meal was over and it was time for him to speak, Bowden rose, gave the group a huge smile and began his positive talk about teamwork and what it can do for success.
He praised the Scotts Company for its work and applauded its associates for their loyalty.
Bowden interspersed stories from his coaching career.
Many of those left all of us in laughter.
However, as with everything the coach had done over his career, his presentation, made without notes and entirely off-the-cuff, also included valuable life lessons.
Bowden had the Scotts audience (and me) in the palm of his hand the moment he rose to speak.
His southern-magnolia accent kept everyone enthralled with what he had to offer.
Needless to say, Bowden received a standing ovation at the end.
As with any coach in any sport, Bowden went through both good times and adversity. He faced both with dignity and grace.
The former Seminole coach now battles his most powerful opponent.
When making the announcement on Wednesday, Bowden reiterated his life-long faith in God as he has entered this new chapter in his twilight years.
I have no doubt he will face it with the same type of mind-set he’s done all his life.