Bobby Bowden, a Hall of Fame college football coach who won two national championships, has died of pancreatic cancer. He was 91 at died at home in Tallahassee, Fla earlier today, according to his son.
During a career that included 377 victories and not a little controversy, Bowden was a folksy presence in the media and highly accessible. His home phone was listed in the Tallahassee directory for years.
His career spanned coaching stops at Samford, West Virginia, and finally Florida State, where he went 315-98-4. The team became a force in college football, winning 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and national titles in 1993 and 1999.
“Florida State University has lost a legend in the passing of Bobby Bowden,” university President John Thrasher said in a statement. “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.”
Bowden retired following the 2009 season with a Gator Bowl win over West Virginia in Florida State’s 28th straight postseason appearance. That gave him his 33rd consecutive winning season. However, a month after he resigned, the NCAA stripped Florida State of victories in 10 sports because of an academic cheating scandal in 2006 and ’07 involving 61 athletes.
Bowden is survived by wife Ann; sons Terry, Tommy, Jeff and Steve; and daughters Robyn Hines and Ginger Madden.