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Former FSU coach Bobby Bowden 'at peace' after terminal illness diagnosis

The legendary football coach led the Seminoles to two national championships during his 34 years with the team.
Credit: AP
Retired Florida State coach Bobby Bowden speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. The 88-year-old Bowden was in Omaha to accept the Tom Osborne Legacy Award as part of the Outland Trophy banquet. Bowden coached Florida State from 1976-2009 and won national championships in 1993 and 1999. His Seminoles beat Osborne's Nebraska team 18-16 in the Orange Bowl after the 1993 season for the first of his two national championships. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Legendary former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden has been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition.

"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. "I am at peace."

The Bowden family, who the football coach called "life's greatest blessing," has asked for privacy during this time, the newspaper reports.

Bowden, who is set to turn 92 in November, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Oct. 2020. The Tallahassee Democrat says his health has deteriorated since he was hospitalized for the virus and he is now resting comfortably at home under supervised care.

In April the FSU legend was honored with the Florida Medal of Freedom at Gov. Ron DeSantis' mansion. In addition to the awarded medal, the governor declared April 7 as Bobby Bowden Day in Florida. 

"In 1976, football in the state of Florida changed forever when Coach Bowden showed up in Tallahassee," DeSantis said.  

"Coach, although your accomplishments on the field are unmatched...your legacy, as the governor said, goes far beyond football," FSU President John Thrasher added.

Bowden coached Florida State University for 34 years from 1976-2009 and is second on the major college victories list, according to ESPN.

During his time coaching the Seminoles, he led the team to two national championships, 12 ACC championships, and 14 consecutive seasons listed in the Associated Press' Top Five, according to FSU. The university says he also coached two Heisman Trophy winners and a Rhodes Scholar. 

The 91-year-old was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

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