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Bobby Bowden, legendary college football coach, dies at 91

Bobby Bowden
FSU's former Head Coach Bobby Bowden acknowledges the fans during the Garnet and Gold Spring game at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday, April 14, 2018. B49i1498

Bobby Bowden, the legendary college football coach who built Florida State into a powerhouse, died on Sunday at the age of 91.

Florida State announced the icon’s passing, which came just weeks after he received a terminal diagnosis due to a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Bowden started his coaching career in 1954 as an assistant at Samford, working at the program for two seasons. By 1959, he became Samford’s head coach and held that role until joining Florida State’s coaching staff in 1963.

He landed his first big opportunity with the West Virginia Mountaineers, becoming the program’s head coach in 1970. After posting a 46-26 record at the program, including a 9-3 mark in the 1975 season, he returned to Florida State as head coach.

The Seminoles went 5-6 in Bowden’s first season at the helm in 1976. By 1977, Florida State was a 10-win program and won its first bowl game in the Bowden era. From 1987-2000, Florida State’s football team combined for a 152-21 record.

Bowden won two national championships (1993, ’99) and his Seminoles won the ACC titles 12 times. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, Bowden is survived by his wife (Ann), his sons (Terry, Tommy, Jeff and Steve) and his daughters (Robyn and Ginger).