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Bobby Bowden diagnosed with terminal medical condition

'I am at peace,' legendary Florida State coach tells Tallahassee newspaper
Bobby Bowden in 2018
Posted at 2:33 PM, Jul 21, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Bobby Bowden, the longtime former Florida State football coach who led the Seminoles to a pair of national championships in the 1990s, has been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition.

Bowden, 91, made the announcement Wednesday in a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat.

"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 told the newspaper. "My wife Ann and our family have been life's greatest blessing. I am at peace."

Bowden did not disclose his condition.

Second-year Florida State head coach Mike Norvell issued a statement on Twitter shortly after the announcement, saying that he was praying for Bowden and his family.

"Incredible man who is loved by so many and the Nole Family is with him," Norvell wrote.

Bowden coached the Seminoles from 1976-2009, winning a dozen Atlantic Coast Conference championships and two national titles during his 34 seasons at FSU.

The Seminoles won 10 or more games and finished among the top five in the final rankings for 14 straight seasons under Bowden from 1987-2000. During that span, FSU won national championships in 1993 and 1999 and played for three others.

His 377 victories -- 304 of them at FSU -- are second-most in NCAA Division I history.

Florida State Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden hugged after beating Nebraska in Orange Bowl to win 1993 national championship
Florida State head football coach Bobby Bowden receives a congratulatory hug after the Seminoles defeated Nebraska 18-16 in the Orange Bowl, Jan. 1, 1994, in Miami.

In April, Bowden appeared with Gov. Ron DeSantis, who presented the College Football Hall of Fame coach with the inaugural Florida Medal of Freedom, a civilian award that recognizes individuals who have greatly contributed to the state.

Bowden overcame a bout with coronavirus last year, spending a week in a Tallahassee hospital.

As recently as June, Bowden received a visit from former Florida State quarterback Danny Kanell at Bowden's Tallahassee home. Kanell posted photographs from the visit on Twitter, saying Bowden was "doing great and still has that special charm about him."

"Words can't express how proud I am to have played for him," Kanell wrote. "Love you, Coach!!"

Upon learning of Bowden's condition, Kanell retweeted his June 16 post, along with a message.

"Today's news made this day even that much more special," he wrote.