Long-time former Seminole head football coach Bobby Bowden has accepted an invitation to return to Florida State University this fall for two football games. It will be the first time Bowden has attended a Seminole football game since his 33-year tenure at FSU ended in December 2009.
Bowden, who led Florida State to two national championships and an unprecedented 14 straight Top Five finishes in the AP final poll, will be at Doak Campbell Stadium on Oct. 26 for the game against North Carolina State and again on Nov. 16 for the homecoming game against Syracuse, when he will join members of his 1993 National Championship team for a celebration of their 20th anniversary.
"What Bobby Bowden means to Florida State University cannot be measured or overstated," said President Eric J. Barron. "Words like respect, sincerity, class, honesty, charm and humor come to mind, along with his remarkable 33-year stellar record coaching our football team. We look forward with much enthusiasm and excitement to his return to the FSU campus."
"It is a challenge to find the words to describe all that Bobby Bowden means to Florida State University," said FSU Board of Trustees Chair Allan Bense. "He will not only be welcomed back to campus as the man who put the FSU football program on the national collegiate football map; he will be honored as well for what he meant and still means to this institution as a man of tremendous personality, character and faith that still resonate throughout this institution."
Details of Bowden's visits will be announced later. During his return to campus, Bowden will be the honored guest of all Seminoles and Seminole fans, according to Seminole Boosters President & CEO Andy Miller.
"Coach Bowden had been a head football coach at three other schools before he came here," said Miller, who has headed the organization since 1975 through most of Bowden's FSU tenure. "But after more than three decades at FSU, he said that he had become a true Seminole at heart. I think his upcoming visits this fall close a circle and constitute a tremendous honor for the entire Florida State University family."
Bowden, who was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 2006, coached football at Florida State from 1976 to 2009.
"I know the entire Seminole fan base will be excited to see Coach Bowden back in Doak Campbell Stadium and standing on the field named for him," said Randy Spetman, director of athletics. "Coach Bowden has been an ambassador of Florida State University and our athletics programs for decades, and we are looking forward to giving our fans a chance to express their appreciation in his favorite environment."
"I think it's great that Coach Bowden is coming back to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the national championship at Florida State," said Seminole head football coach Jimbo Fisher. "He's one of the great coaches of all-time as well as a personal friend and mentor to me. He's meant so much to Florida State and me in my career. It's going to be a wonderful time for Florida State and Coach Bowden. I could not be happier he'll be back with us."