FOS Audio: Paterno, Bowden Strike Gold

It's been a great year for the two winningest coaches in major college football history. In January, Penn State's Joe Paterno and Florida State's Bobby Bowden squared off in the Orange Bowl. Earlier this month, the dynamic duo was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. And Thursday, they were named co-recipients of the 2006 Gold Medal from the National Football Foundation.

“It's funny how this year has been,” Bowden said in a teleconference where humor and congeniality were at a premium. “How in the world they managed to match up Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden, I'll never know. Then comes the Hall of Fame. Then comes this medal. I just could never have predicted it.”

“I'm beginning to wonder whether there's something we don't know about here,” Paterno joked. “Maybe they're telling us something.”

The only message on this day was one of respect for two men who have combined to win 713 games. The first recipient of the Gold Medal was Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, one of seven U.S. presidents on the list. Other winners include Jackie Robinson, John Wayne, Byron “Whizzer” White, Keith Jackson and General Tommy Franks.

Former Gold Medal Winners.

The Gold Medal recognizes outstanding Americans who have demonstrated integrity and honesty, achieved significant career success and have reflected the basic values of those who have excelled in amateur sport, particularly football. The medal will be awarded at the National Football Foundation Awards Dinner in New York Dec. 5.

In the Thursday teleconference, both coaches spoke eloquently about being honored with the award. Though Bowden did wonder aloud what else is left to win after reaching this peak.

“I didn't want to max out this early, that's what I'm worried about” Bowden said with a laugh. “I ain't got but one more big one, and that's up there.”

“You're not going up there for a while, Bobby,” Paterno replied.

Click the link below if you'd like to hear the teleconference featuring Paterno and Bowden.

Hear the Joe Paterno-Bobby Bowden Teleconference Here.


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