TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will
end his 44-year coaching career after the Seminoles play in a bowl
Bowden will retire as the second winningest coach in
major-college football behind Penn State's Joe Paterno. The
80-year-old Bowden has won 388 games in his career at Samford, West
Virginia and Florida State, where he spent the last 34 seasons.
"We've got one more game and I look forward to enjoying these
next few weeks as the head football coach," Bowden said Tuesday in
a statement released by the school.
Florida State's bowl game has not been determined. The are bowl
eligible with a 6-6 record.
Bowden won two national titles with Florida State, in 1993 and
1999. Among his top achievements was a string of 14 straight
seasons ending in 2000 when the Seminoles won at least 10 games and
finished ranked in the top five of the AP poll. Florida State was
152-19-1, an .864 winning percentage, during that span.
"He set records of achievement on the field that will probably
never be equaled," university president T.K. Wetherell said.
"Bobby Bowden in many ways became the face of Florida State. It
was his sterling personality and character that personified this
FSU officials announced after the 2007 season that offensive
coordinator Jimbo Fisher would succeed Bowden.
The end of the Bowden era has been brewing for years, and the
call for change only grew louder this year, when loss after loss,
many coming in the final minutes, began piling up. The regular
season ended with a sixth straight loss to bitter rival Florida, a
Bowden is a football lifer, who modeled his career after his
idol Paul "Bear" Bryant, the legendary Alabama coach who died
shortly after he retired in 1982.
"After you retire, there's only one big event left," Bowden
has said over the years. "And I ain't ready for that."
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)