Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said Wednesday that he was dealing with a terminal medical condition.
Bowden, 91, did not disclose what the condition was in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat. On Thursday, Bowden's son, Terry, said at Sun Belt Media Day that his father has pancreatic cancer. Terry Bowden is entering his first year as the head coach at UL Monroe.
The elder Bowden told the Democrat earlier in the month that he was feeling "fine" but that "I can't do much."
"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 a statement shared with the Democrat. "My wife Ann and our family have been life's greatest blessing.
"I am at peace."
Bowden is one of the most successful college football coaches ever. He has an unofficial overall record of 357-124-4 in 40 years at West Virginia and Florida State and ranks as the second-winningest coach at the top level of college football behind Penn State's Joe Paterno.
He coached the first six seasons of his FBS head coaching career at West Virginia. He was hired at Florida State after the Mountaineers went 9-3 in 1975. Starting in 1982, Florida State went to a bowl game in every year the rest of his career until he retired at the end of the 2009 season.
Bowden’s official record with the Seminoles stands at 304-98-4 after 11 wins were vacated in 2006 and 2007. The Seminoles never lost more than six games in any of his seasons with the team and went 1984-2001 without a season with five or more losses.
That stretch included two national titles. Florida State was officially recognized as the AP national champion in 1993 and 1999 after going 12-1 in 1993 with Heisman winner Charlie Ward and 12-0 in 1999 with an offense that featured Chris Weinke and Peter Warrick. Weinke won the Heisman the following season.
Bowden had COVID-19 in 2020
Bowden was hospitalized in October of 2020 after he tested positive for COVID-19. His coronavirus hospitalization came not long after he had been released from an almost two-week stay in the hospital because of a leg infection.
Bowden said in a statement after he was released from the hospital after his COVID-19 stay that he wanted to stay alive so that he could vote in the 2020 presidential election for former president Donald Trump.
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