How I will remember Bobby Bowden

 

When I heard the news that Bobby Bowden was expected to retire today, I went through a range of emotion.

 My first reaction was to be mad. I had been told over a week ago that not-so-subtle pressure would be put upon him to step down.

Yes, he would be given the option of returning, but in what could only be described as a figurehead role. In short, he would not retain the right to control the staff and the important things that go into being a head coach. The position would be ceremonial. I know the man well enough to believe that he could not be happy with that.

After building the Florida State program into a national powerhouse over 34 years—which included an unprecedented streak of 14 straight years with Top Five finishes—I believed strongly that he had earned the right to dictate the date and the manner of his retirement. This is not the way to treat a legend.

Then I got sad, as I usually do when one of the great ones has to walk away from the game. I will freely admit that I like and respect Bobby Bowden. He’s been good to me in my career. I love college football and recognize that the sport we all enjoy today was built by men like Bobby Bowden.

Florida State’s football stadium looked like a giant erector set when he became coach in 1976. There was little football tradition and the facilities were a joke. Now Doak Campbell Stadium is a palace and Florida State’s athletic complex is more than impressive. Yeah, Florida State did a lot for Bobby Bowden. But he gave a helluva lot more than he got back.

Then I was glad. I have been fortunate to cover some of the greatest coaches in the history of this game: Bryant, Dooley, Spurrier, Dye, Holtz, and now Bowden, just to name a few. They all have their time and, inevitably, that time comes to a close. No one coaches forever or plays forever. None of us gets to do what we do forever so we should enjoy the moments that we do have and in the sport of college football, Bobby Bowden gave us a lot of those moments.

So it appears that Bobby Bowden, who just turned 80 years old in November, is set to walk off the stage a year before he is ready. He won 388 games, which is second in Division I-A only to Joe Paterno. He wanted to retire as college football’s all-time winner. I know he said he didn’t stay awake thinking about it. But the man is competitive. Very competitive. He wanted that record. His players and family wanted it for him even more.

We are still waiting to see if the NCAA is going to strip him of 14 victories as penalty for an academic scandal that he addressed when it was discovered. I said this long before now but that should not happen.

There are so many games and so many stories I will remember when I think of Bobby Bowden. But this story will always be at the top of my list:

On Friday, Sept. 10, 2004 Florida State played at Miami in a game that had been postponed due to Hurricane Frances. The day before Bowden had attended the funeral of his grandson, Bowden Madden, who had been killed in automobile accident related to the Hurricane.

Florida State lost the game, 16-10 in overtime. Those of us who talked to Bowden that night knew how much he was hurting. All of us had a job to do but when you’re talking to a man who just lost a grandson named after him, a football game just doesn’t seem very important. But as always, Bowden answered our questions, even the personal ones about his pain.

When Bowden turned to leave for what was going to be a difficult trip back to Tallahassee, he took off his Florida State cap. He signed his name underneath the bill of the cap and then threw it to Joe Henderson, the fine columnist from the Tampa Tribune.

“Hey, Joe,” Bowden said. “Give that to your grandson.” Then he walked away.

That is how I am going to remember Bobby Bowden.

 

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282 comments Add your comment

Edsak

December 1st, 2009
7:12 am

Everyone has their time…. First

Alabama Jack

December 1st, 2009
7:17 am

Excellent column, Mark, but I notice that Dodd was not mentioned in your great coaches. Had he retired when you came along?

warhorse

December 1st, 2009
7:20 am

Because we learn in the military that it is not right to shoot at a man in a lifeboat, I will maintain the tone set by Tony and not discuss how Bobby allowed Deon to play long after Prime Time no longer was enrolled as a student, causing the legislature to pass a special law so that such abuse of academics never again would happen.

Bobby is a delightful guy to see interviewed. He added a spark to football and continued a long line of classic characters from the South who excelled on the sidelines.

Dog Island Gator

December 1st, 2009
7:21 am

God bless and long live Bobby Bowen. Thank you for the memories.

War Jacket

December 1st, 2009
7:24 am

Dooley doesn’t belong in that list you homer. Certainly not before Spurrier.

sogadog

December 1st, 2009
7:26 am

Your headline: “Tech rolls over Georgia”. You need to adress this and why so many of your fellow reporters wrote Georgia off with such zeal. You cant judge a program based on one game or one season alone.

CowetaDawg

December 1st, 2009
7:26 am

You’re a good man Barnhart. Happy Holidays to you.

Rooferdawg

December 1st, 2009
7:26 am

I played golf with Bobby, Bill Lewis (old UGA and tech coach) and a friend. Bobby was a awesome person to know! We will miss him!

joe taxpayer

December 1st, 2009
7:29 am

CBB is paid on production not history. Fla. St. has been going down hill for 8 years he does not have some special right to drag that program down even if he built it up. Thanks for the memories, you are a special person and a Great coach. Everything has a season and its time for CBB to go.

Let's Go

December 1st, 2009
7:30 am

On game day I hated the man and his team but in the big picture of how great college football is he will always be at the top. The one thing I always liked about Bobby Bowden is that year in and year out he always scheduled tough out of conference teams to play. Look at this year, BYU & South Flordia to go along with Flordia. Pete Carroll and Bob Stoops do it too and because of that they are at the top of my list as great college coaches. Maybe Urban Meyer, Nick Sabin, & Mack Brown should try it and then let the chips fall where they may.

Maybe Flordia State will be better without him but I’d be willing to bet they will be looking for a new coach in 2 to 3 years. The fallout from the experiment of the “coach in waiting” will take years to fix.

?????

December 1st, 2009
7:30 am

Tony, how ’bout it bro???? “Tech rolls over Georgia”?

Big Fat Alligator

December 1st, 2009
7:37 am

As a Gator Fan I am espcially sad to see ol’ numb nutz go. It was lot’s of fun whipping up on old Bobby.

The real St. Simons

December 1st, 2009
7:38 am

((((((((((24-30))))))))))

wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!waaaaaaahhh!!waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

AUGirl

December 1st, 2009
7:40 am

I’m personally saddened by Bowden’s retirement but it’s time. His FSU rosters gave the Southeast some awesome rivalry felt games back in the day when FSU played SEC teams. With the passing of this torch, it leaves only Joe Paterno who is the last of that coaching era where coaches and fans were loyal to the team and the coach actually would “retire” after 25-plus years. Nowadays, it seems the only thing that matters is BCS and if the guy can’t bring it home the pinks are issued, or, coaches turn-coat and leave for another team who will pay more $$$$. Good luck to Bowden! He’ll be missed.

Forever a Nole

December 1st, 2009
7:40 am

Great column Mr. Barnhart. 14 years of finishing in the top five is the most amazing accomplishment to me. I also loved how he built the program; he would play anyone, anywhere. He will be missed.

Augustadog

December 1st, 2009
7:40 am

Good article Tony. Those of us who have been around a while appreciate what a man of Bobby’s stature has brought to the game. He is a fine Southern Gentleman and mentor to thousands of kids in his program. God Bless Bobby Bowden!

In Decatur

December 1st, 2009
7:43 am

If you’re going to include Holtz, then how about Hayes, Schembelchler and Osborn too.

TonyBFan

December 1st, 2009
7:45 am

I’m going to miss him Tony, he’s been great for the sport. However, no one is bigger than the game and he lost control down @ FSU. Too many indians wanting to be chief and no one to step up and put them in their place. He built an empire that was crumbling under his on ego. Amazing coach, sounds like he was also an amazingly loyal and generous man. Sometimes coaches need to check the loyalty though and remember that it is still a job. You listening Richt?

Truth

December 1st, 2009
7:52 am

Spurrier is the one coach on that list that never had any class!

kt

December 1st, 2009
7:53 am

Bobby Bowden, class act for sure.

Saint Simons

December 1st, 2009
7:54 am

30-24!!!!!!

Two overrated teams will play in the ACC Championship Game a.k.a. The Consolation Bowl

GT & Clemson (not even the best in their own state!) Ha – what a pathetic joke!!!!

Fladawg

December 1st, 2009
7:54 am

Tony,

Past performance never compensates for current victory. That is the way it is in every area of life. It is way past time to move on and coach Bowden, as great as he is, should have recognized this 5-7 years ago. He could have moved on with class instead, he will be bitter in many ways and forced the fans to question his character.

AUGirl

December 1st, 2009
7:54 am

Good point In Decatur! Michican and Nebraska were to the 80’s what Floria is to the 00’s. Those coaches were unbelievable and built programs where when those boys came out onto the field, other teams knew they were playing some corn-fed a$$-kickers!

kt

December 1st, 2009
7:56 am

I’m interested “lets go, what tough out of conference games does Bob Stoops schedule? Miami?? okay.

Forever a Nole

December 1st, 2009
7:56 am

Big fat Alligator,
It was “lot’s” of fun whipping up on ol’ Bobby? First of all, Florida State has definitely not been the team they were when they went 8-5-1 against your beloved Spurrier. Secondly, could you please learn how to use an apostrophe? Here is an example of an apostrophe used correctly: Steve Spurrier’s record was excellent at Florida except when he coached against Bobby Bowden.

Starring Henry Wilcoxon as the Bishop

December 1st, 2009
7:58 am

Despite the troubles the FSU program has had in recent years, there is NO doubt that Bobby Bowden has left the FSU program in MUCH BETTER shape then what he inherited. For those of you too young to remember, FSU won 4 games in 3 YEARS before BB arrived. Larry Smith ruined the program & Darrell Mudra was not much better. So, I hope the FSU administration is happy by running the man off. He should have coached 2010 & ridden off into the sunset.
WTG classy UGA fans, this is a Bobby Bowden column, not about UGA.

Jake

December 1st, 2009
8:03 am

I recall when Bobby was at WVU. He extended a hand to Marshall when their team was killed coming back from ECU, in Greenville NC. When went to Fla. State when FSU was a no-body football team. He raised the bar at FSU for college football and put them on the map. He understands what comes first in life. 1. his God, 2.Family 3. FSU in this order. He has helped many men in this country understand life. His time at FSU reminds me of the book Death of a Salesman. It happens every day in this country.

SimpleDawg

December 1st, 2009
8:04 am

It was time for Bobby to go, only he couldn’t see it….or didn’t want to admit it.

Hopefully his fate will not be the same as the Bear, who only lived another 28 days beyond his retirement.

Eric

December 1st, 2009
8:05 am

Good greif. He’s retiring, not dying! Get a hold of yourselves, Ladies!

the Girv

December 1st, 2009
8:09 am

As a Penn State fan I could not stand fsu. But I am dumb founded on how fsu could do this to the greatest coach in school history. I think ten years down the road they might look back and regret the way they handled this. Guys like Bowden,Paterno,Bryant,Holtz. They don’t come down the road to often,now a days the money will move any coach. But not these guys.Good luck to coach Bowden, I know that Joepa won’t be far behind. Then all the great ones will be gone.

volsngoblue

December 1st, 2009
8:10 am

Sad day. The sports truly goes mercenary when you dont respect the man that made you….

Saint Simons is my caddy.

December 1st, 2009
8:11 am

(((((((30-24)))))) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Gordon

December 1st, 2009
8:11 am

I don’t understand the idea that a coach “earns the right to leave on his own terms.” Bowden was a great coach, and was compensated handsomely for that. He got all of the perks and rewards that he earned by doing such a great job for so long. But in good times or bad, he was an employee of Florida State University and no more. The job belongs to FSU, not Bowden. Football coaches, like most people, don’t get tenure. If FSU decides to end the relationship, then they have that right and shouldn’t be criticized for it. FSU has been very gracious in how they have handled this.

Hugh Howard

December 1st, 2009
8:13 am

Tony
This is an excellent article. Some men have indeed earned the right to say when they go. I will never forget or forgive Adams for the way he treated Coach Dooley. When I started at UGA in 1966 the stadium held 36,000. I miss the older guys. Heck, I even miss that old Tech homer Bisher.

Ramguy

December 1st, 2009
8:15 am

Why are people worried about what coaches Barnhart listed? This about Bowden and how he brought an small time football program into the limelight. He did just that and he deserves credit for it. Personally I was glad to see two Southern programs (Fla St and Miami) actually beat the Big 8 teams in bowl games.I just hope UGA doesn’t play them in a bowl game this year. Those young men will play their hearts out for the old man so he can go out a winner.

Dave

December 1st, 2009
8:15 am

For those of us Seminoles who’ve been here since the beginning, this is truly a sad day. We know what Bobby has done for FSU, and anything less than allowing him to leave on his own terms is deplorable. University trustees, presidents, and athletic directors are a dime a dozen. By themselves they add nothing to a university’s value, yet they make decisions like these. I have owned season tickets and attended every home game for years, but I won’t be there in 2010. It’s the only way to show the powerful ones that this decision was a bad one.

Call it Like It Is

December 1st, 2009
8:16 am

Stop whinning Truth as anyone out there would take Spurrier has their head coach.

Too bad, as Bobby should have walked away 10 years ago has FL State has suffered since he has stayed as he does nothing to aid the program except walk around and draw a paycheck.

Not a Nole fan, but I think that most of them are glad of this decision.

Enough Said!

Tim

December 1st, 2009
8:16 am

Let me first say, we are truly losing a legend. Maybe he did stay a few years past his prime, but for all that he accomplished, he deserves the right to leave on his own terms. I’m only saddened by the fact that with him retiring, it’s like the end of an era. I don’t think you’ll ever really hear about coaches staying in 1 place that long again, ever. Now a days, it’s about the $$$. And if the coach doesn’t win the MNC every year, well then he’s on the hot seat.

And, as a Dawg fan, as glad as I’m to have beaten GT yet again , one of the above posters was right, let’s keep this on topic to Bowden and his retirement.

Biff

December 1st, 2009
8:16 am

Holtz? Really?

Sebastain Janokowski Pharmacy of Love

December 1st, 2009
8:18 am

First you were mad. Then sad. Now glad.

Not only are those easy concepts to grasp, they rhyme.

Got 12?

December 1st, 2009
8:18 am

Over course of 34 years, he built the program then proceeded to run it into the ground. He seems like a great person but his retirement is long overdue.

He gave the school no choice.

Dink

December 1st, 2009
8:18 am

Great article Tony, well done.

Go Dawgs!

dagnabit

December 1st, 2009
8:19 am

Tiger Woods didn’t have a good weekend either. But the sluts did.

Fleischman loves BBC in the NYC

December 1st, 2009
8:22 am

7 – 5 on our way to the Independence Bowl ! ! ! ! ! !

It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog

Ben

December 1st, 2009
8:22 am

No one will argue that Bowden wasn’t always a class act or that he was and is a good man. I’m sure there are hundreds of stories like the one you told Tony that thousands of people have. They’ll always have those. But, you can’t continue to ask the Florida State faithful to watch them slip into mediocrity. Bowden WAS given extra time because of what he had done for the program but it’s simply not working. How many people thought that the loss to Florida wasn’t already a foregone conclusion before they even kicked off? Can you imagine that in the 90’s? Tony, even YOU predicted that this year was going to be a good year for FSU at the end of last season and it wasn’t. A change is simply needed in Tallahassee and it’s the right thing to do FOR THE PROGRAM. (I’m not even an FSU fan)

naganole

December 1st, 2009
8:22 am

My apologies to you Tony, but Bobby Bowden lost thei right to leave on his own terms when he stopped putting the program first. This picture you paint is of a different man than what Bobby Bowden is today. He continually choose his family interest over those of the university and the program. Starting in 2000, he chose to skirt nepotism laws and name his son OC. When it was apparent that Jeff couldn’t do the job, he cast a blind eye until the university (read: boosters) stepped in and forced him out. They paid him half a million dollars to leave a job when his contract was already up and he was horrible at it, all to appease BB. When he brought in Jimbo Fisher, he was appalled at what the program had become. He shed light on what a joke our recruiting had become, and how antiquated our practices and team policies were. After hearing this, the school knew this is the guy they wanted as their head coach. Jimbo knew what was wrong and gave us a plan to fix it. FSU tried to make the change gradual with a head-coach-in-waiting plan, but Bobby didn’t want any part of this. He rehired Chuck Amato and gave him a “assoc head coach” title. Chuck did a huge disservice to our LBs by refusing or not caring enough to coach them. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the difference between our LB play under Kevin Steele and Chuck and his “freedom system”. He should apologize to Dekota Watson for wasting his last few years. Luckily, Nigel Bradham and Nigel Carr will now have a coach that will actually teach them. So what was Chuck doing in Tally? Chuck was busy doing everything he could to undermine the changes Jimbo was trying to put into place. There’s enough out there to write a novel about this. I won’t even discuss how he begged Mickey Andrews to stay on after the tragic event with his son. Bobby only cared about himself, his family’s pockets, and his legacy. The program was way down on the pecking order. I wish I could have remembered him for his first 25 years, but I’m afraid the last 9 are going to be hard to overlook.

Sandcloud

December 1st, 2009
8:23 am

Football is big business. Would you continue to pay a person $5 Million a year and not expect better results? Why is it some people do not want to accept it when it is time to step aside and let someone else take charge. The program was in decline for more than eight years. So goes football so goes the university.

Atlanta Gator

December 1st, 2009
8:23 am

Yes, Bobby Bowden has earned the right to determine the time and manner of his retirement as the head football.

That having been said, the time of his retirement should have have been any time in the last 9 years, but not every living legend has a sense of good timing. Bobby Bowden clearly has no sense of timing. Watching Bobby try to hang on to the FSU head coaching job over the last several was reminiscent of Muhummad Ali’s late career comeback attempts—-sad and disconcerting to those
of us sports fans who had known him in his prime.

Bobby was once a great college football coach and he built a great program at FSU, then he became FSU’s team CEO, then its de facto figurehead. Time was passing Bobby by, one small step at a time, and it was obvious to everyone except Bobby. He is 80 years old, and but for the exceptional counter-example of Joe Paterno, Bobby might have had the good sense to realize it several years ago. Perhaps there is a lesson in this mess for all of us to remember: timing IS everything.

When the dust settles, I hope that the manner of his departure is quickly forgotten, and college football fans will remember what the man accomplished, not how he finished.

Tarheel & Trojan Fan

December 1st, 2009
8:29 am

Wonderful piece – the end of it is very moving.

Urban Meyer

December 1st, 2009
8:34 am

Please don’t post any news regarding Carlos Dunlap’s DUI this morning. Rest assured, I have him running stadium steps this morning as punishment. He has already learned his lesson.

F-105 Thunderchief

December 1st, 2009
8:34 am

I hope something bad happens to that booster jackhole who called Bobby out earlier in the season. And, to the school officials who are caving in. Jimbo Fisher, had he any class, would have lead the call to make 2010 a successful last season for Bowden. That he didn’t is a hint at how his tenure will go. He is doomed. Karma’s a %^$*&.

Steve

December 1st, 2009
8:35 am

How I will remember Bobby Bowden:

“We were willing to join the SEC as long as we didn’t have to play Alabama and Auburn in the same year, but the SEC declined.”

L. A. Times, 9/20/90, section C9

Bowden was 71-2 during 1992-2000 against ACC opponents. lol

Carlos Dunlap

December 1st, 2009
8:35 am

I’m done running 10 steps like you asked me coach. I have learned my lesson, I’m sorry. It’s hard as hell running 10 steps while I’m still drunk, you’re punishment is too severe Coach.

SadDawg

December 1st, 2009
8:36 am

When Bobby took over at FSU, I was a teenager in south Georgia, and having been born in Athens when my Dad was at UGA, I was an avid Dawg fan. But Bobby’s teams kept drawing my attention. Not much TV coverage for either school in the mid to late 70s, but listening to both teams on radio, I knew there was a big difference in his and Dooley’s coaching styles. His offenses were wide-open and special teams were really special. It seemed there was a KO return or a punt return for a TD, or a blocked punt or extra point in every game. He took the Seminoles all over the country and feared no team. He disapointed me when he seemed to develope the “win at all costs” attitude beginning in the 90s, basically enrolling common criminals if they were fast enough. Remember the “Free Shoes Univ.”, and “Criminoles” lines from Spurrier? These last few years of trying to outlast Paterno just made him a joke and leaves me sadly shaking my head when someone brings his name up. One thing’s for sure, he changed college football in a big way. He showed us the ball could be moved through the air just as easily as on the ground if you had the cajones, and boy he did…

naganole

December 1st, 2009
8:37 am

F-105 Thunderchief: Bobby was given a chance to come back as head coach with Jimbo doing all the “heavy lifting”, but have his name on the record books with the wins. He refused.

#1Nole

December 1st, 2009
8:38 am

Bobby did this to himself. If he had brought in the best O.C. in the country after Mark Richt went to Ga., instead of promoting his son Jeff to the position, then this Jimbo Fisher “i.e. Coach in Waiting” would have never taken place. The school circumvented to Nepotism policy for Bobby and that was the beginning of the end for the legend. Although Bobby did build the program, he was compensated handsomely and he was given several passes during the various scandals that surrounded the program. As a FSU grad, I have mixed emotions about the events but I think change is necessary because the revenue will continue to dwindle as long as he is overseeing the program!

Reed Hall Rat

December 1st, 2009
8:38 am

Nice work Tony…I enjoy your work.

Gen Neyland

December 1st, 2009
8:39 am

If Coach Bobby Bowden does in fact leave Florida State today, here’s my perspective : In essence, the University owns the football program, not the other way around. No man is bigger than his purpose in life and Bobby’s purpose had been met over the course of years he served FSU. He has both accomplishments to be proud of and tales of woe I won’t address.

HC’s need to heed the Fulmer-Bowden Syndrome. Once infected by a BCS Crystal Football, there’s nowhere to go but down. It’s just a matter of time…

GWJ

December 1st, 2009
8:39 am

FSU mishandled this debacle from the start…..the “coach in waiting” solution was NOT smart. By the way, does FSU really believe that Jimbo is the answer?

lawzoo

December 1st, 2009
8:41 am

Well, whatever………he was no Tommy West.

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

December 1st, 2009
8:42 am

GORDON:
YOU MUST BE DR. ADAMS RIGHT HAND MAN….ADAMS COULD HAVE SET DOWN WITH COACH DOOLEY AND WORKED OUT 1 MORE YEAR, BUT IT WAS NOT TO BE…THAT’S WHY HE IS BOOED EVERYTIME HIS NAME IS ANNOUNCED IN PUBLIC WHERE THE BULLDOG FAITHFUL ARE IN THE HOUSE, AND ALWAYS WILL BE….SHAME ON WETHERELL, YOU BECOME THE FSU VERSION OF DR. ADAMS….JUST 1 MORE YEAR, BUT I GUESS NOT…GOOD LUCK, JIMBO, YOU GOT WHAT YOU WANT, NOW RUN WITH IT, BUT COACH BOWDEN’S SUPPORTERS KNOW YOUR WAYS NOW IF THEY DID NOT PREVIOUSLY AND THEY WILL BE WATCHING YOU CLOSELY….LIKE COACH BOWDEN SHOULD HAVE BEEN WATCHING YOU ALSO…

AUGirl

December 1st, 2009
8:42 am

@Steve…ironically had Bowden signed with SEC he would eventually had gotten his wish when SEC was split in West/East. Too bad. FSU would have been a great team for an all-ready envied SEC conference.

Dan

December 1st, 2009
8:48 am

Bobby Bowden deserved plenty, but not a job-for-life-or-whenever-he-wanted-to-retire. Yes, he did plenty for the FSU program, but it’s a program on a decade-long slide to mediocrity after that glorious 14-year run. He has received millions of dollars, and let’s not forget the statue and the stained-glass “shrine.” Unfortunately, he did not merely replace Richt with incompetent son Jeff, he doggedly retained Jeff long after it was obvious Jeff was not a capable offensive coordinator, and the program began to slide. Bowden brought back Chuck Amato to FSU after Amato’s River-less collpase at NSCU, and has retained Amato despite Amato’s inability to recruit south Florida as he once did so well. Bowden has brought about this sad ending on himself, and it’s a pity. Had he not been so loyal to people who had not properly earned his degree of loyalty, things probably would not have declined as they have. This is a business, and Bobby Bowden wasn’t working for free or minimum wage; he has been handsomely compensated over the years.

beasnole

December 1st, 2009
8:48 am

A sad day… I was there when Mudra was the coach and football was on par with the debate team. He changed things around and pretty quickly at that. Is one of the truly good guys, as a coach and as a man.
I think we have witnessed one of the last coaching dynasties that will ever be allowed to stay on that long and thus be able to transform something from nothing. I guess it was time but thought they would let him do one more year
Its been a pleasure to have been able to see. Go Noles.

MGS - FSU

December 1st, 2009
8:49 am

Thank you Bobby for everything you have done for FSU and college football. The Seminole Nation will never forget you. You are making the right decision today and we thank you!

SadDawg

December 1st, 2009
8:49 am

Jeez, reread the column, In Decatur (7:43), Tony’s speaking of coaches he has “covered”. I think that means coaches he has seen in person coaching a game.

Shug

December 1st, 2009
8:50 am

Bowden stayed a decade too long, and in the end was a joke. The facilities may be nicer than they were in 1976 but the team’s not much better.

collegeballfan

December 1st, 2009
8:50 am

The Bowden I remember most was early on after he took the FSU job. He would play anybody, anywhere at whatever time you suggested. He took his lumps but built one of the great programs in college football history.

Carlos Dunlap

December 1st, 2009
8:51 am

uhhhhh da coach meyers don say I plays dis satrday. he gon investigates whut hapen next week. i tackle peoples and luvs me som white womenz.. piece out

Bubby Cux

December 1st, 2009
8:52 am

This it the problem with all these Good Ol’ Boy programs we have here in the South. You have Bobby Bowden who overstays his welcome and no one wants to hold him accountable because “OH YOU KNOW HE’S JUST OUR GOOD OL’ COACH”.

Hey Bobby Cox, why don’t you take one from Bowden’s playbook here and step down before the Braves waste the game’s top pitching rotation another year.

inside source

December 1st, 2009
8:54 am

Standby for the news.. Kirby Smart is coming to UGA after the SEC championship, an extremely reliable source tells me. The deal is already worked out on paper, they are just keeping it quiet to avoid distractions for Alabama while they prepare for the game this weekend. Word is also that he is bringing one or two blue chip recruits with him too.

KR

December 1st, 2009
8:55 am

Remember, it’s still a job with performance expectations. If Bowden was volunteering his time, then maybe he has the right to dictate his departure. But he was being paid quite handsomely by the State of Florida and they have a right to certain levels of performance for their money. The situation isn’t a whole lot different than the one with Dooley a few years back. Unfortunately, not everyone knows when it’s time to step back and enjoy retirement.

As an outsider looking in, it seemed as though at the end of his career, Bowden developed a case of target fixation. He became focused on the all time wins goal and pretty much lost track of everything else.

If any of you have ever had to take the car keys away from an older relative (for their safety and that of other motorists), you know what kind of decision FSU has to make.

The Ghost of Bear Bryant

December 1st, 2009
8:55 am

If, in fact, it turns out that they force him out and not allow him a final year…

…then may FSU go 0 and 12 next year.

Karma.

IheartBobby

December 1st, 2009
8:57 am

Bobby Bowden was truly a legend, us Nole fans will always honor him and remember him. If the rumors are true (which I hope they are not), today will be a sad day in college football. Farewell, coach Bowden, you will be missed, always loved and never forgotten!

Kirby Smart

December 1st, 2009
8:58 am

BULL FOCKING SHEEOT INSIDE SOURCE! I’d rather eat sheeot and die than go back to that hell hole known as Athens.

SOOHSO

December 1st, 2009
8:58 am

Bobby Bowden changed football from the boring “three yards and a cloud of dust” to the exciting game it is today. He is the greatest of all.

SadDawg

December 1st, 2009
9:00 am

Truth (7:52), yeah Spurrier was not a gracious winner or loser. But he also never cheated and never recruited players with character problems, and, oh, he could by-God win! I remember him saying in an interview that if UGA had offered him the job when Dooley retired, he would have jumped on it. UGA didn’t and the next year, he left Duke for UF. That made me nauseous for several years, wondering where UGA’s program would have been with the Evil Genious at the controls in stead of Goff and Donnan…

It Is Time

December 1st, 2009
9:01 am

We love him. We are: relieved to see him go; sad to see him go; sad it came to this; outraged by his wife’s “let them eat cake” comments; glad that this seems to be ending; wishing Coach the best. Maybe now all those signed photos of him from the 90’s will go back up on fans’walls around Tally.

crusher dawg

December 1st, 2009
9:03 am

Thanks for the comments. Coach Bowden did a lot for the game of football. He will always be termed as one of the elite coaches. Thanks for the article.

shards1967

December 1st, 2009
9:04 am

As a college student here in Atlanta in the late 60s and early 70s, I recall his WVA Mountaniers football teams in the old Peach Bowl maybe two or three times and how they were really fast and played a different style of football. He was always humble, funny and interesting. Old time coach he was and a leader of young men.

Later, he was the same at FSU and really developed them into a brand name football team from nothing, nada, no name and a general Southern laughing stock. He always had one or two national powerhouse teams on his schedule where he could pre game poor mouth then , tee it up. Fun stuff and I am a Dawg, born and bred. My older brother is a grad of FSU and he remembers the PRE Bobby days for sure. They defeated UGA in like 66, before Bobby arrived. UGA tied them in the Music City in mid 80s. Dooley vs Bobby.

Great job Bobby !!! You are one of a kind, sir.

inside source is full of it

December 1st, 2009
9:05 am

Yeah, and Obama is about to get kicked out of the White House because he was born in Etheopia. I don’t believe in fairy tales. Kirby Smart’s next job will be a head coaching job.

JB

December 1st, 2009
9:05 am

Should of retired 4 years or so ago…..great guy………been great for the game……..a real southern gentleman, but did the big money people and FSU a disservice the last 2-3 years. In the old days ( 25-30 years ago) they would of just kicked him upstairs as AD…….Too big of business to do that anymore…..He’s a legend, a hall of famer, but has really tainted FSU the last 4 or 5 years . Those people are starving to win again…I don’t envy Jimbo….These folks will not wait 2-3 years……Good luck FSU…….Go Dawgs……….PS: If Jimbo flops and Mark Richt rights the ship in Athens the next 2-3 years, Mark will probably be the next head coach at FSU…….IMHO………..

SadDawg

December 1st, 2009
9:06 am

Amen to that, Bubby Cux!!

tom

December 1st, 2009
9:11 am

Hey War Jacket: check your facts you moron. Dooley won 200 ball games in the SEC. Quick, list all the ones that have done that. Oh yeah, you are a moron. You can’t. Get over your biases and respect the people that deserve it. I am a DAWG fan but I respect Dodd.

Dr. R

December 1st, 2009
9:12 am

College football has become a sport in which success is naturally fleeting, yet fans and boosers still expect constant success. The days of Bear Bryan and Darryl Royal winning every year are over. The high level of competition from so many schools makes it impossible for one program to hoard the best high school players anymore, who would prefer to go to a Boise State or a Toledo and play than sit on the fourth string at Alabama. As a result, new coaches have a short window of success, and the great old coaches like Bowden and Paterno are now just average. Richt, Freidgen, Weis … these guys were the toast of the town their first few years. But as soon as the success fades a little, their fans can’t wait to get rid of them. Pete Carroll and Bob Stoops are about to go through it now. Expectations haven’t adjusted to this modern reality, so schools are dstined to run through coaches on a regular basis unless their administrations resist the pressure and stick with a good coach during tough times, as some (a few) pro teams do. You watch, a couple of years from now Florida will be tired of Urban Meyer and Saban will start getting happy feet again as soon as the Tide goes 8-3. There is no sense of proportion in this “sport.”

Andre "Pulpwood" Smith

December 1st, 2009
9:12 am

Nice job, Tony. Coach Bowden seems for all the world to be a very good man.

I do have one question, though; when you listed the great coaches you’ve covered, how could you omit the Great Adjuster, the Greatest Coach in the History of Western Civilization, the Super Genius Paul Johnson?

geoffdaddy

December 1st, 2009
9:13 am

Tony, you nailed the Auburn – Alabama game. All those Chris Todd interceptions gave Bama the game, and Javier with two big TDs, awesome.

JB

December 1st, 2009
9:13 am

Me thinks Kirby would rather work for Saban than Richt to improve his chances of getting the prize, which is a 5 year, 15 million dollar HC contract……Coming hope because mama is calling is old school crap. He wants the big job and contract. Who would you hitch your wagon to if you were this close? Too much “down side’ coming home to coach under Richt. He’s learning and working for a guy who “GET’S IT” !!!!!!! Go DAWGS……………..

DB

December 1st, 2009
9:13 am

Thank you for a lovely article. Bobby Bowden is revered in Tallahassee and throughout the country as a coach that created a football tradition and as an all-around good guy. I’m sure the record of his beloved Seminoles has been a source of pain to him in the last few years, but in a sense, it’s sorta like having to take the car keys away from Grandpa when he starts driving the truck into mailboxes.

Thank you, Bobby, for years and years of FSU football.

gt

December 1st, 2009
9:13 am

Mr Bowden was a great coach, an inspiration and a class act. He qwas not perfect- no one is. He created FSU. So many coaches who are great are one dimensional- like an idiot savant. Football only. It is a game. Great people use their position to help people and causes. They are not disrespectful They are loyal.

Dr. R

December 1st, 2009
9:15 am

I meant to write “boosters” instead of “boosers,” but that pretty much still fits.

JB

December 1st, 2009
9:15 am

That’s coming home…….not hope…….

ckgator

December 1st, 2009
9:17 am

Paterno wins!

nolefan04

December 1st, 2009
9:20 am

It is a very sad day today in Seminole Nation! To see the man who built this program into what it is today leave is so sad! Thank you Bobby Bowden for all you have done for Florida State you will truly be missed and we will never forget you! No true Seminole fan is happy to see you go! You are Florida State and to push you out before you time deeply saddens me! Since I was a little girl my Granddaddy took me to the games and I have grown to love and respect you. You are a wonderful Godly man and Florida State will not be the same without you.

And to Florida State Athletics watch out KARMA SUCKS!!!

Lane Kiffin

December 1st, 2009
9:20 am

So Urban, show me how to properly punish athletes who break the law. I like to lead by example.

Carlos Dunlap

December 1st, 2009
9:22 am

Anybody know where I can get me some licker this early in the AM?

Jeff

December 1st, 2009
9:23 am

Ok Barnhart- now an article about Bobby. Still mum on the UGA win???? What a jerk

T B

December 1st, 2009
9:23 am

You know the old saying but it back like you found it. Well had FSU let Bobby continue he would have did just that.

Urban Meyer

December 1st, 2009
9:26 am

Carlos is just misunderstood. He was helping an alcoholic friend by drinking his Colt 45’s. On his way walking home, Carlos was helping a motorist by watching his car while he went to get some gas. Carlos is a total victim of circumstance – not to be confused with a victim of Tebow’s circumcison.

T B

December 1st, 2009
9:27 am

Jeff Guess what? Nobody cares that Georgia beat Tech.

Atlanta Nole

December 1st, 2009
9:27 am

Sad to see Bobby go. I think he should have been given one last season but he did not want a farewell tour which is what it would have been. Bowden was a real Southern gentleman and he will be missed! I hope Fisher can improve the defense like he did with the offense and that FSU can rise up from it’s 6-6 season.

mike avery

December 1st, 2009
9:28 am

I am a fla st alum and we are not terrible people that forced a legend out it has been time to go for awhile and noone had the guts to do it. if this had not happened now then it would have gone on forever

ckgator

December 1st, 2009
9:28 am

As a Gator, the thing l admire most about BB was his charm and skills at public speaking. His presentation on a Peter Warrick touchdown play years ago was classic. Also, he’s a WWII buff as am I.

Lots of victories and championships but past that, the man made a lot of questionable decisions over the years. And his program has had more than one black eye – the cheating scandal was the least of it. He has been the ultimate “teflon-Don.”

Still, hate to see him go in this fashion.

T B

December 1st, 2009
9:28 am

Jeff guess what? Tony hasn’t written about Georgia’s win over Tech because nobody cares.

ckgator

December 1st, 2009
9:29 am

“Words speak louder than actions.”

-Lane Kiffin

im4bama

December 1st, 2009
9:31 am

I for one am sad about this day. I am a huge fan of Bobby Bowden and admire him for the man that he is and the great coach that he is. I hate that he will not surpass Joe Pa for most wins. The man deserved one more year but he should have been willing to bend to allow the man taking over have more control (staff and recruiting).

You will be missed by many Bobby!

cantondawg

December 1st, 2009
9:32 am

I believe that Florida State made the right decision. They have been holding on for the past 5 years hoping that this man would make the right decision himself. Unfortunately, he would not and they had to make if for him. For goodness sakes, the man is 80 years old and should retire. Why would the administration want to waste a season just for a farewell tour.

Coach O

December 1st, 2009
9:33 am

The King is dead — long live the King.

Tony Adams

December 1st, 2009
9:35 am

Coach Bowden was more than a football coach. Nobody ever mentions that he was the baseball coach at South Georgia College and won the Junior College State Championship in baseball in 1957. He is what you see and hear. I was on that team and I approve this message.

redandblack80

December 1st, 2009
9:35 am

Bobby was a great coach,I think he was trying to reach the 400 wins mark,only to be let down by his assistant coaches.Mark Richt was Bobby’s claim to stardom,his trophy,his proof that he was a great coach.Im glad we have Mark Richt at Georgia now,though I hope Mark doesnt follow in Bobby’s footsteps and let Ga down,due to his choices of assistant coaches.Bobby Bowden-I wish you had reached 400 wins before you had retired,I think you would have,if it werent for your son.I will miss you as head coach of FSU,Hold your head up Bobby, for you were the best thing that “EVER” happened to FSU…………..LIVE LONG my friend and may God continue to shine on you……I never met you,but I wish I had.

Matt the Brave

December 1st, 2009
9:37 am

I hope that Jimbo Fisher knows what he’s getting into. I’ve said it for years, the person who follows a legend has the hardest job in the world. Look at Denver or Miami in the NFL. They STILL look at Marino and Elway as examples of what their QB should be. For coaches, look at UGA. We still compare our coaches to Dooley, and even to Wally Butts! I would not want to be in his shoes right now, he’s probably at about a 90% chance to fail miserably.

ACC SUCKS

December 1st, 2009
9:37 am

Everyone keeps saying Bobby wasn’t scared to play anybody. Two points when your building a program thats what you do, second when you play a conference schedule with teams likes of Duke, N C, NC State, Ga Tech, Virgina, and Wake ect. you can afford and should play a tough out of conference schedule

RollTurd

December 1st, 2009
9:37 am

One can only imagine what his won/loss record would have been if Alabama had picked him instead of Ray Perkins….typical “Bam’er”…!!!

Coach O

December 1st, 2009
9:37 am

inside source

December 1st, 2009
8:54 am

Standby for the news.. Kirby Smart is coming to UGA after the SEC championship, an extremely reliable source tells me. The deal is already worked out on paper, they are just keeping it quiet to avoid distractions for Alabama while they prepare for the game this weekend. Word is also that he is bringing one or two blue chip recruits with him too.

Kirby might well return to Georgia. Lord knows they need some help. If he does, then he won’t be dragging any Alabama recruits along with him. He’s not that kind of low-life coach. Besides, blue chip players don’t commit to Alabama in order to play for Kirby Smart.

GoVols

December 1st, 2009
9:39 am

Where does this mindset originate that a coach “earns” the right to determine his departure? Once FSU paid off Bobby’s son to leave the university because Daddy wouldn’t fire him I felt the school and he were even. How many other coordinators get that kind of treatment. And his legacy is the ONLY reason why he hasn’t been forced out prior to now. That team that played UF on Saturday wasn’t even competitive.

Jimbo, Joker, Muschamp etc. IS DUMB

December 1st, 2009
9:40 am

That new “Coach in Waiting” trend is stupid.
It sure did’nt help with the Bobby Bowden retirement.
I think it is an insult to the Head Coach to have a so called “Coach in Waiting” hanging around.
A person is either a Head Coach or an Assistant Coach, no in between silly “Coach in Waiting” should be allowed.
Whoever came up with the goofy idea should be kicked out the door.

Dawg Fan

December 1st, 2009
9:42 am

Barnhart,

Nice Calls…do you also predict the weather???

Valdosta Dawg

December 1st, 2009
9:43 am

Alabama JAck, this article was written by Tony, not Mark! War Jacket usually the thing that gets you recognized as a great coach is the 200 win milestone, throw in a National title and you bet your sweet ass Vince Dooley belongs there. However this article was about Bowden and it was a great one Tony. Bowden deserverd to go out on his terms, just no other way to put it. The story you mention from the Miami game just proves the caliber man that Bobby Bowden is, but that is nothing new. Go back to the tragedy with the loss of the Marshall football team and see what he did while he was at West Virginia, Bowden is just one hell of a man!

Got 12?

December 1st, 2009
9:43 am

Inside Source,

Kirby’s next job will be a head coaching one, not a lateral-demotion (lateral in title, demotion in program).

You’re partially right though, Kirby will return to Georgia…for the SECC game on Saturday.

BF

December 1st, 2009
9:45 am

Ray Perkins and Bobby Bowden should never be mentioned in the same blog.

SadDawg

December 1st, 2009
9:47 am

That’s just mean, “Got 12″.

Dave

December 1st, 2009
9:48 am

It’s a sad day when people have to use a thread like this to display their thoughtless ignorance. Apparently we’ve accepted that everything in this society is disposable, including valuable human beings like Bobby Bowden. If retirement is a done deal, then why are you people still bemoaning the negatives, and whining about YOUR favorite coaches getting their due credit. At the least, this should be a tribute to a legend. I would hate to some of you at my loved one’s funeral. Will Americans ever get some class again, or is this what we’ve got to look forward to? Very sad indeed.

Gator and Cane

December 1st, 2009
9:48 am

Hell we didn’t see a problem with Bobby, it looked to us like he had the program going in the right directions

redandblack80

December 1st, 2009
9:49 am

T B -shut your pie hole,no one asked for your two cents worth.this page is about Bobby Bowden,not you.Have some respect for Bobby,or do you need some help with your manners as all little punks do.Go play with your toys,unless you have something nice to say about the ‘Legendary Bobby Bowden”.Bobby-go play golf with your friends and unwind,forget about the things that happened at FSU.Its their problem now,you were the better man for walking away.God Bless-CBB.

BYU4life

December 1st, 2009
9:50 am

Jimbo Fisher will be fired in two years….watch

JB

December 1st, 2009
9:50 am

T B:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::;and who cares about Tech……..Check the attendance at this weeks ACC title game and get back to me.

Andy in Blairsville

December 1st, 2009
9:51 am

As a season ticket holder for many years, I’m proud of what Bobby Bowden means to FSU Football. Sure the last several years weren’t exactly what many wanted but Bobby will retire as a class act and one of the best coaches in college football ever and many of his records will never be surpassed.

Dad-gummit Bobby I hate to see ya go but we knew this day would eventually come.

Godspeed Bobby!

UGA72

December 1st, 2009
9:53 am

Enter your comments here
It is true that Coach Bowden seems to have lost control of his team in recent years, but remember that Florida has one of the strongest sunshine laws for public information in the nation, and much of what occurred at FSU likely occurred at many, many other schools but were never reported. I was a young sports editor by the time Coach had already made FSU a program that not many teams wanted to play, yet he always showed me nothing but courtesy when I sought an interview with him or one of his players. This was back in the late-1970s, early-1980s. Bobby Bowden was a class act then, and he remains so. I do regret that the powers-to-be did not allow him to exit with grace, and on his own terms. Shame on you, FSU!

Chris

December 1st, 2009
9:54 am

Mickey Andrews retires….Coach Bowden is forced too….then Jimbo should be fired! Bring in Mike Kelly from Cinci as head coach and Dick Bumpas from TCU as defensive coordinator. LSU never had a high powered offense when Jimbo was there, it was LSU’s defense that made them a power house and won the national championships in ‘03 (#1 rank defense) and ‘07 (#2 rank defense) The best offense that LSU had with Fisher as offense coordinator was ranked 11th in 2001 and 2006 neither year that LSU won the national title…..how does an offense that is ranked 11th one year go to 86th the following year under the same offensive coordinator….FSU pay the $5 million and make a clean sweep since you have the broom out!

Gator and Cane

December 1st, 2009
9:54 am

Well said Dave it’s very sad indeed. We believe he had at least 2 more good years and that would have got him to 400 wins

ATLNole

December 1st, 2009
9:56 am

nolefan how can you call yourself a TRUE noles fan and then wish bad karma on the program? Your loyalty should be to the program, and not 1 man.

Dave

December 1st, 2009
9:59 am

I think the under-30 generation would pass legislation that requires harvesting the healthy organs of everyone over 59, right after confiscating their assets.

T B

December 1st, 2009
9:59 am

J B I don’t care about the attendance at this weeks ACC title game. I will be at the Ga. Dome, but I will go by Tech stadium on my way and take a look at the historical site were the pups beat that power house tech team.

Coach O

December 1st, 2009
10:02 am

Some are concerned that Florida hit an emotional peak for the season when they hosted FSU for Senior Day and bid farewell to the Tim Tebow era.

Looks like at least one Florida player thought the season was over:
http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/gatorbytes/2009/12/01/gators-de-carlos-dunlap-arrested-for-dui/

Jimbo Joker Muschamp

December 1st, 2009
10:02 am

I am “Looking over your shoulder” Head Coach.
Does the ajc have any “Sports Columnists in Waiting” …Tony?

Hurricane Bob

December 1st, 2009
10:03 am

Bowdon promised that when he dies his tombstone will say, “He played Miami.” We’ll see if he’s a man of his word.

Fleischamn loves BBC in the NYC

December 1st, 2009
10:04 am

Maybe Carlos was drinking some of Tebows “jesus juice”

GT...(avoids shreveport)

December 1st, 2009
10:04 am

11-2 ACC CHAMPS
……………………….
12-2 ORANGE BOWL CHAMPS
………………………………………..

T B

December 1st, 2009
10:05 am

redandblack80 you guy’s are the one’s who wants Tony to write about that great Georgia victory in Booby Dodd stadium saturday night. I just trying to point out to you the reason he hasn’t is that NO ONE CARES!!!!!!

Tony you are such

December 1st, 2009
10:05 am

an idiot. 14 years with a top five finish and only 2 NCs to show for it. Hell Levell Edwards, Loydd Carr, and many others have 1 NC and will never be considered among the greats and they never had a run close to 14 years in the top 5 let alone playing for it 5 times.

Here is the most telling stat. Bobby Bowden has a losing record to every CANE coach with a NC. Count em 4. That speaks volumes about his 1) Coaching abilities in the games 2) the type of head to head recruiting he was doing against 4 cane coaches.

Oh, check bowden’s record against the SEC and ACC when he chose to join the ACC in Sept 90 vs the joining the ACC. He chose the easier route and should never have idiots like you claiming he is a legend.

ratherBgambling

December 1st, 2009
10:06 am

Long overdue for BB. But like most “hereos” as time goes by he accomplishments will be exaggerated and his failures forgotten.

My guess is we won’t be seeing any mention of the Peter Warrick suspension, Fred Rouse, etc etc.

Mikey

December 1st, 2009
10:06 am

I for one will miss him. Period – end of story.

jc_atl

December 1st, 2009
10:06 am

As an Auburn fan I’ll never forget Auburn’s annual slugfest with FSU back in the mid 80’s. Dye vs Bowden, 1984 in Tallahassee. The game went down to the wire with Auburn’s Brent Fullwood scoring the final TD for a 42-41 Auburn win. Why do I remember this? 1) FSU was a great team and Bowden already known as one of the best football coaches in the business. 2) I was a freshman at college and my suite-mate was a huge FSU fan. We could only pick up the game on a very scratchy AM radio that we had to twist and turn to keep reception. So, there he and I were barely able to hear the game as FSU and Auburn fought in a neverending slugfest. What a game. Bowden is a class act and records go out the window – what he’s done for college football is larger than a win record whether he can see that now or not.

ReptilesRule

December 1st, 2009
10:07 am

Carlos Dunlap. Worlds biggest dumbazz. Probably just cost himself $$$$$ and maybe Florida the SECCG. Way to think about your teammates moron!!!!!!!!

DawginLex

December 1st, 2009
10:07 am

gt(AVOIDS TACKLING uga RUNNING BACKS)

For something no one cares about, the UGA win over Tech is sure getting mentioned a lot…………………….

WAITING ROOM

December 1st, 2009
10:08 am

Jimbo, Joker, and Muschamp are a joke.
Sorry offense and a Sorry defense.

Dave

December 1st, 2009
10:09 am

Face it young people, a college education for you means absolutely nothing. Even your master’s degrees are worthless. Athletics is the last bastion of hope for a university’s survival–the only program that still teaches character. Bobby Bowden has been more valuable to FSU than any elitist professor. Listen to the never-held-a-real-job academic, and you’ll never get a real job. Follow the example of men lie Bobby, and you might actually do something successful. But you’ll likely choose the former and go into politics. God help us.

GT avoids shreveport

December 1st, 2009
10:10 am

……..12-2 …..ORANGE BOWL CHAMPS

Dawg Fan

December 1st, 2009
10:12 am

T B is right….. Dawg Nations it was Ga Tech we beat for GOD SAKE!!!!!!

redandblack80

December 1st, 2009
10:13 am

T B-Like I said earlier-learn some manners lil punk,this page is a tribute to Bobby,there are 364 more days to write about Ga spanking GT……..NO ONE CARES ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY-PERIOD.Go cwawl back under your rock.Were on here today to pay respect to a great man and “COACH”….Nuff said!!!

BAMA STAN

December 1st, 2009
10:22 am

12 NATIONAL TITLES – 21 SEC TITLES!!!

What is it about head football coaches that makes them entitled?

Bobby Bowden is a legend – built an incredible program – and managed it’s demise.

Did coach Bowden deserve to go out on his own terms? – NO! He deserves to go out on negotiated terms.

IF I do not produce in my job – I guarentee you I will be shown the door. Bowdens legendary status and past history should allow him extra opportunity to rebuild his program – but that time clearly passed – and FSU became an average to slightly above average program – depending on the year.

I might also add that FSU really botched this situation. This entire coach in waiting strategy is a bad idea and creates a division among the staff.

I appreciate and respect the accomplishments of the the legendary Bobby Bowden – and also realize that he avoided joining the SEC so he could take the path of least resistence to success of winning conference championships by joining the ACC. FSU would have been in the thick of it in the SEC – but would have had a few more losses along the way.

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Big Fat Alligator

December 1st, 2009
10:26 am

Forever A Hole,

Thanks for the grammar lesson professor. How’s this for apostrophe use? Bobby Bowden’s dadgum record vs. UF for the past 5 years has been terriblel. And bringing up his past (record vs. Spurrier) is for cowards.It was time for him to step down many years ago, same with Joe Pa and Bobby Cox.

Dadgummit, he’s gonna be out playing golf with his non-coaching sons now so be happy for him.

ó¿ó

ROLL TIDE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 1st, 2009
10:31 am

Coach Paul “Bare” Bryant would be the all-time winningest coach in college football history if he had as good a cardiologist as Bobby Bowden or Joe Paterno.

ROLL TIDE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

brokebackvol

December 1st, 2009
10:31 am

Sad way to go out, but Coach Bowden needed to step aside. I really don’t like this whole “coach in waiting” stuff, as it is harmful to the program. If the main man needs to go, regardless of his status as a legend, then he needs to go and let the next guy have the power to do the job. Not taking anything away from Bobby, but I think he overstayed his welcome.

Another piece of the old South from my boyhood fades into history.

ReptilesRule

December 1st, 2009
10:32 am

I understand the Seminole Nation frustration, but Bobby deserved better. They should have all met and worked this out before this season so he could have had his day…

FSU Alum

December 1st, 2009
10:34 am

Tony – You defy logic simply to create controversy. Why would someone come in to be defensive coordinator for one year? If you’re looking for a job created by Bowden – sorry. You got to be kin for that.

FLNavigator

December 1st, 2009
10:38 am

The Gator in me says please keep Bobby. The more objective college football fan in me says it’s time to hang ‘em up, Bobby. You did a great job building the program, but you’re in the process of overseeing its demolition.

But, what the heck… http://www.keepbobbybowden.com

Huh?!

December 1st, 2009
10:45 am

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the ACC.

You got away with it for a while, Bobby, but eventually time caught up with you.

Ga boy

December 1st, 2009
10:46 am

Let the healing begin- finally!!!

FLA DAWG

December 1st, 2009
10:49 am

Tony,

My memories of Bowden will be mixed ones. A legendary coach who created an incredibly successful program, an attempt at a Family Dynasty in College Coaching with mixed results at best and a Great Coach who continued well beyond his prime resulting in dismal seasons for his players, FSU and all of their Fans.

He will always be remembered more for the successes he had but in my opinion should have retired a long time ago.

Miles

December 1st, 2009
10:50 am

Bowden did an excellent job at Florida State…no question about it! However, at 80 years old, it’s time to ride off into the sunset. I’m sure Bowden was a nice guy Mr. Barnhart, i.e., the bit about the autographed hat, but he was also a dumb fox. His outwardly simplistic demeanor was undoubtedly a calculated measure. College football fans will certainly miss him.

Ga boy

December 1st, 2009
10:50 am

Oops- make that 27 arrests in the last 4 years.

http://www.mugshotsgainesville.com/

CBS Watcher

December 1st, 2009
10:51 am

Who has the worst look? You or Brando? Dyed hair, heavy makeup, lots of cliches, recreating the early 80’s on national tv.

Honest Abe

December 1st, 2009
10:51 am

Well said, BAMA STAN. We earn the right to continue to work by our current and on-going performance, not by ancient history.

(p.s. watch your back for “Forever a Nole” and the apostrophe police)

Urban Meyer

December 1st, 2009
10:53 am

“We will let the process be handled by the authorities, until then he will play Saturday.”

Done deal pal

Ga boy

December 1st, 2009
11:02 am

Atta boy Urban- that’ll show Lane how it should be done. No hypocrisy here- none at all!!!

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

December 1st, 2009
11:15 am

TB
YOU COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG….ONLY CARE ABOUT BEATING CLEMPSON???? CPJ SAID IT WAS DOWN HIS LIST OF PRIORITIES…HE MUST HAVE SEEN IT COMING…..

Paul The Vol

December 1st, 2009
11:19 am

Based on some of the comments on this blog is it any wonder that so many columnists hold their readers in such contempt?

Thanks for the article Tony. I appreciated reading it and especially the story at the end. Well done.

Bobby Bowden Fan

December 1st, 2009
11:20 am

Gordon

December 1st, 2009
8:11 am
I don’t understand the idea that a coach “earns the right to leave on his own terms.”
When you build a program from the ground up then you certainly have the right. Bobby Bowden was more than just a football coach. He not only built a football program, but he helped take the school itself to another level.
For those who say Bobby was running the program into the ground, I say were it not for Bobby Bowden there would be no program to run into the ground.
The only thing FSU produced of any merrit before Bowden’s arrival was Burt Reynolds!

TechCrybaby

December 1st, 2009
11:21 am

THE BOBBY BOWDEN I LOVED: Built FSU’s great football program from nothing – Always spoke graciously in victory or defeat – Had “plain as old shoe” Southern manner – FSU lady lovingly called him, “Ouah Bobby” -Taught Sunday School at one point, while still a coach.

THE BOBBY BOWDEN I HATED: Calculated whether to join SEC, or ACC, when I KNEW he’d join the weaker conference, where my Tech had just won a National Championship – Took Georgia Tech’s 7-0-1 series record against FSU, and turned it into 7-12-1 – Recruited hordes of “fresh legs,” regardless of academic qualifications – Ran up huge scores on ACC teams, to attract national attention (one year it was in the 70’s each, against Duke, Wake, and NC State) – Finally came to think his football empire was bigger than the university.

Quote of the Day

December 1st, 2009
11:27 am

“That conference (ACC) is really down, especially in the area of the box, offensive and defensive line play. It’s just not very good. I thought (before the game) we were a lot better than they were up front, and we were.” Ellis Johnson, South Carolina DC

Ouch!

Doo dah- Doo dah

December 1st, 2009
11:29 am

Bobby Bowden Fan FSU has a short football history becoming coed around 1950. There had only been 25 years of football before Bowden came. But FSU had done some good things under Bill Peterson and had won their first game against the Gators with Steve and Freddie B. Westcott Hall shows that it is Florida State University- it is NOT Bobby Bowden University. FSU was a great university long before Bowden appeared and will do just fine long after Bowden is gone. Please stop your attempt at rewriting history. Bowden did a wonderful job in elevating the football program beyond what we could imagine. I appreciate that. It is long past the time for him to leave. LONG PAST. Let the healing begin.

Trent

December 1st, 2009
11:29 am

Tony, how bout you join Bowden in retirement? Your columns are quite awful.

Gatorzip74

December 1st, 2009
11:38 am

As a Gator I will miss Ole Robert. He is a class act and has done nothing but positive things for young men, the State of Florida, and the college football world. Hopefully the Head Ball Coach will follow suit and set up a bowl game for the ages.
Hope your happy Noles, you just got stuck with Jimbo.

Gumby

December 1st, 2009
11:38 am

Nice column about a nice guy and a great coach. I’ll miss him. Thanks Tony.

Gatorzip74

December 1st, 2009
11:42 am

Doo dah- Doo dah “FSU was a great university long before Bowden appeared” You’re joking right? FSU was nothing before Robert Bowden appeared, in fact FAMU, Leon HS and Lincoln HS outdrew them in attendance. Do I even need to mention Girls School?

G8R GRAD

December 1st, 2009
11:52 am

SadDawg:

Good stuff.
I didn’t know that.

SarahCF

December 1st, 2009
11:54 am

“We are still waiting to see if the NCAA is going to strip him of 14 victories as penalty for an academic scandal that he addressed when it was discovered. I said this long before now but that should not happen.”

For shame. We have all forgotten what the purpose of a university is: learning. If we lose sight of this and let FSU, and Bobby Bowden, walk away from this unscathed, the biggest loser will be academics, the true backbone of universities.

David Granger

December 1st, 2009
11:59 am

We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one, Tony. I am not a fan of Bobby Bowden.

greg

December 1st, 2009
12:10 pm

won all those games because he had top talent on the field vs crap talent of the acc. typical fsu season lose to miami early beat all the crappy acc teams then go to a bowl game and finish 11-1 and finish in the top 5. if bowden coached in the sec he wouldnt have won near as many games!!! thats a fact

GT avoids shreveport

December 1st, 2009
12:11 pm

Bobby Bowden is three years YOUNGER than Joe Paterno
and would be the perfect “Coach in Waiting” for Penn State.

Anonymous

December 1st, 2009
12:17 pm

To all you indignant, sanctimonious, hipocritical critics of Carlos Dunlap:

You were once 20 years old, too.
Kids make mistakes.
Or have you conveniently forgotten?

FSU Alum

December 1st, 2009
12:20 pm

Hey Tony – Ann Bowden is quoted as telling the university to “go ahead and fire him if they have the guts.” Sounds like someone who has her heart in FSU.

UrbanMeyer.com

December 1st, 2009
12:21 pm

Carlos Dunlap will be suspended for the first half,
……………………………………………………………
unless Bama somehow jumps ahead on the scoreboard.

H

December 1st, 2009
12:23 pm

Anonymous your right we all have made mistakes but if the reports that are coming out are true this guy was past out with the car running and didn’t responsed with the cops tried to wake him up, but don’t worry i’m sure he’ll still play

$aban

December 1st, 2009
12:24 pm

Tebow has never made a mistake in his life.

Jeff

December 1st, 2009
12:29 pm

TB….Tech cares…..between UGA and SC, we made the ACC championship game a complete joke…..

Joe

December 1st, 2009
12:32 pm

GT ACC Champions!!! 12-2!!!!!! woooo hoooo…Tell me boys, who are the 2????? LMAO

Gator Mike

December 1st, 2009
12:34 pm

Boobby Bowden certainly made the UF-FSU Rivalry. Until FSU started to slde, I was always aprehensive about the game. Sitting in my usual seat on the 40 yd line 14 rows up on the East Side of the Swamp this past Saturday, I watched Bobby very closely as the Gators totally dismantled his beloved Noles. It was easy to see that he was in pain which may explain why he kicked a field goal from the 2 yard line to prevent a shutout.
Bobby will always be a legend. I found him humorous and a terrific coach. Yes, FSU had some problems during his reign, but every program has a few knuckleheads who tarnish their team. He will be missed by the Gator Nation who liked to beat him when we were able, and it will be a long time, if ever, that the UF-FSU rivalry ever has the intensity which it had when Bobby and FSU were on top.
I wish Bobby and his wife all of the best. He is one of the very best, and he played a valuable role in making football in the state of Florida among the best. The UF, FSU amd Miami teams with rosters full of ex-Florida high school players significantly highlighted the wealth of talent in the state of Florida.
As he slowly walked off the field on Saturday evening, everyone sitting around me had a feeling that we saw Bobby in his last game. It was fitting that Tim Tebow approached him and shook his hand. I would love to have a picture of that when 2 college football legends met for the last time in the Swamp.
Go Gators!

Delbert D.

December 1st, 2009
12:34 pm

greg -
“if bowden coached in the sec he wouldnt have won near as many games!!! thats a fact”

No, that is an opinion. A fact is a statement that can be checked and confirmed. You can’t check and confirm something that never happened.

Dr. Pepper SEC bargain

December 1st, 2009
12:35 pm

The SEC Championship game is a bargain for a family of four.
Only $1,500 per ticket equals a modest $6,000 for good wholesome entertainment in these tricky economic times.

dan

December 1st, 2009
12:36 pm

Bobby will always be remembered as one of the all-time great coaches. And those Florida State teams in the 1990’s were unbelievable. His teams were the only ones strong enough to stand up to the hated Florida Gators under Steve Spurrier and the hated Miami Hurricanes.

With all that being said, it was time for him to go. He quit because he basically was going to be a figurehead, but he’s been a figurehead for that program the last 4-5 years. That Florida State program has finished 6-6 3 out of the last 4 years, and isn’t even in the vicinity as the Florida Gators anymore. The kids are no longer buying into what he and the coaches are selling. And Florida State did nothing but complicate the situation with this whole ” coach in waiting” crap, which is nothing more than a passive agressive jab to get Bobby out. I know the record means a lot to Bobby, but if that’s the only reason he’s in football then that’s pretty petty. Record or no record, he’ll be remembered as being one of the all-time greats.

Overpaid

December 1st, 2009
12:38 pm

For the last 5 years, bowden has done little or no coaching, but has still been paid millions in cash plus benefits. He got millions in the 80s and 90s and won 2 titles. Overall, he got out more than he put in. The old man needs to retire and quit wasting florida taxpayer money!

Doo dah- Doo dah

December 1st, 2009
12:41 pm

Gatorzip74 As usual another Gator likes to run his mouth without knowing anything about the topic.

Joe the LMAO

December 1st, 2009
12:41 pm

The suspended SEC refs
………………………….made the SEC Championship Game a complete joke.

Da Dawg Pound

December 1st, 2009
12:41 pm

Dunlap gets a DUI and only gets suspended only for the first half? No complete game suspension? Urban Meyer has sunk to a new low as far as doing the right thing. Most coaches do a a multi game suspension for something as serious as a DUI and few do as little as a one game suspension. And Meyer is going to suspend him for just a half game. He has set a new low as far as punishment and thuggery goes. Thuggery now rules gatorland and the inmates are running the asylum. Move over UT. There is a new thug university.

Anonymous

December 1st, 2009
12:43 pm

Doo dah- Doo dah

December 1st, 2009
12:45 pm

BTW Gator zip your salad days end after this year. And Jimbo will bring FSU back soon very soon.
Get ready- it’s coming.

Doo dah- Doo dah

December 1st, 2009
12:47 pm

http://www.mugshotsgainesville.com/

Let’s see that makes 27 arrests over the last 4+ years in Penalville Anonymous- glass houses indeed!!!

George Holman

December 1st, 2009
12:47 pm

You would think that FSU would provide a better way for Bowden to leave the stage of college football. He was unique and brought class and dignity to the game. He will leave a huge void!

Observor

December 1st, 2009
12:50 pm

Wow, real fascinating article….

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

G'Vegas Dawg

December 1st, 2009
12:56 pm

Tony – you lost all credibility when you went on national TV and said that Tech will win …and I quote…”BIG”. You may want to see if you can get a job with the TECH student newspaper and work your way back up. 30-24!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous

December 1st, 2009
12:57 pm

Whatever, DooDah, your righteous indignation seems a little disingenuous at the very least!

G'Vegas Dawg

December 1st, 2009
1:01 pm

You know I don’t speak spanish….

1eyedJack

December 1st, 2009
1:01 pm

“I believed strongly that he had earned the right to dictate the date and the manner of his retirement. This is not the way to treat a legend.”

Some legends just don’t know when to hang ‘em up.

Delbert D.

December 1st, 2009
1:10 pm

If you want to read a history of one of the all-time wacko football players, check out Joe Don Looney, an all-american RB and punter at Oklahoma and the NFL. I recall an article later on where he was working at a Hindu temple shoveling out elephant pens.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Don_Looney

Fleischman loves BBC in the NYC

December 1st, 2009
1:12 pm

Urban Cryer will let his lil thug play Saturday. I bet he will have some onions under the podium for his press conference later today. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Doo dah- Doo dah

December 1st, 2009
1:14 pm

Anonymous It’s just so much fun pointing out the obvious hypocrisy of you arrogant, classless Gators everytime.

G'Vegas Dawg

December 1st, 2009
1:15 pm

Georgia at Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech is brimming with confidence as it goes for its second straight win over the Bulldogs. Georgia, meanwhile, just doesn’t seem to have any answers after last week’s meltdown against Kentucky. Athletically, Georgia should be able to hang around but there is no evidence that the Bulldogs can handle a tough, physical football game for four quarters. That is exactly what Georgia Tech will give them. Georgia Tech 38, Georgia 21.

jdub

December 1st, 2009
1:24 pm

Good riddance. Should have left years ago but in his mind it’s all about him. He was a notorious recruiting violator. He ratted out other programs when he was doing the same thing. He had that preacher/salesman personality down to a tee. Only Houston Nutt does it better. I’m an OU fan and it gives me great pleasure that we humiliated him in his last NC game appearance. Be loyal to the program not the coach. coaches are temporary custodians.

Anonymous

December 1st, 2009
1:29 pm

As of June of this year:

“UF’s arrests are in line with those of its traditional rivals. Georgia football players have accumulated 30 arrests during the same four-year period. Tennessee has tallied 21 arrests, while Florida State has totaled 13 arrests.”

The numbers have risen since, to be sure, but only correspondingly so.

Anonymous

December 1st, 2009
1:31 pm

bugsquacher

December 1st, 2009
1:38 pm

Damn good Coach. Class act.

Dallas Dawg

December 1st, 2009
1:49 pm

Tony,
Powerful story about Bobby Bowden. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Tide Rising

December 1st, 2009
2:04 pm

Reptiles rule,

Have to agree with you about Dunlap. He let down his teammates, every gator fan, and bottom line is he probably cost himself a lot of freaking money in bargaining power when he signs his NFL contract. They will use this to discount how much they will pay him citing possible alcohol addiction, morals clause, etc. This mistake was more costly to him then he realizes.

I wish they could really drum it into these kid’s minds, especially the surefire pro caliber ones, about just how much money and lost job prospects they can cost themselves with stupid stuff like DUIs.

I’m sure they’ll suspend him minimally for at least this game so for me its a blessing that UF will be missing such a stellar player. The biggest worry us Bama fans have been talking about is Florida’s speed coming off the edge in Dunlap and Cunningham. Its my single biggest concern going into the seccg, bigger even then Tebow.

Our left tackle in particular has been beaten by speed rushers like Dunlap during the season and a good case in point was when Antonio Coleman beat him last week, sacked McElroy and almost caused a fumble.

Gators are still loaded with talent but I still think there will be a dropoff from a future NFL star like Dunlap and Trattou. Dunlap is 6′6 290, has tremendous speed. Trattou his backup is 6′4 260 and is a redshirt freshman. I hate it for Dunlap but I’m feeling a little better about our chances.

Gen Neyland

December 1st, 2009
2:06 pm

Da Dawg Pound : Thought you might enjoy this snipet on UGA freshman, Montez Robinson :

Robinson, 19, smelled of alcohol, according to the officer’s report.

He was placed under arrest and “became very agitated while being placed into double locked handcuffs. He started to yell and scream while being placed in the rear of a caged unit,” according to the report. Robinson is the fourth Georgia player arrested since Oct. 13. The other three arrests were traffic-related… Oh hum, it only happens elsewhere.

Mary Secard

December 1st, 2009
2:09 pm

I salute Bowden. It is deplorable that the sports press on national TV fueled this story all season. He helped a lot of kids stay on the right path just by being part of a team. That is the great thing he did in addition to excellent coaching.

DawgVoiceofReason

December 1st, 2009
2:18 pm

SadDawg,

You stated that “Spurrier was not a gracious winner or loser. But he also never cheated and never recruited players with character problems”. Your first sentence may be the understatement of the year. Yes, he fully earned the “Evil” part of his nickname with his complete lack of class while at Florida. I think now everyone in South Carolina (except Clemson) is wondering where the “Genius” part went. As to your second sentence, I will agree that he was not caught cheating, but I doubt the second part. I don’t know of many big time college football programs that have not had any issues with the “character” of at least some of their players.

As for me, I would not have Spurrier as the head football coach of my University under any circumstances. What kind of Dawg fan would have anything to do with Spurrier?

collinseli

December 1st, 2009
2:35 pm

Dumbo Fisher is not going to help. Give Bobby the offense for the bowl game. At least he can make decisions better than Jimbo( Coach in waiting)

Got 12?

December 1st, 2009
2:36 pm

Regarding Dunlap, what’s the big deal? I got drunk during the Iron Bowl.

Oh wait, I wasn’t driving, didn’t pass out, and didn’t have to go to work or school or practice the next day. And my performance or absence this Saturday will have no effect on the my team’s championship aspirations.

I now see what the big deal is.

FLNavigator

December 1st, 2009
2:47 pm

Gatorzip74, Doo dah- Doo dah was FSU was a great *university* before Bowden, not a great football team. The same can be said for UF before Spurrier.

During my senior year in high school — before either university had great teams — I can remember a handful of classmates actually choosing to go to FSU because it had the same school colors. Unbelievable! I picked UF and never once regretted that decision. Go Gators!

how2fish

December 1st, 2009
3:02 pm

God’s speed Coach Bowden…as a long time college football fan I’m glad I got to watch so many great games you were a part of.Tony thanks for sharing !

Got 12?

December 1st, 2009
3:29 pm

LSU = Capitol One Bowl
Ole Miss = Cotton Bowl
Auburn = Outback Bowl

The close loss to Bama really improved AU’s bowl prospects. I guess moral victories to count for something.

obomaisaclown

December 1st, 2009
3:34 pm

Bobby spoke at my church First Baptist Woodstock one time. God will continue to us him I am sure

Got 12?

December 1st, 2009
3:36 pm

UT in the Peach Bowl v. Va Tech

if a frog had wings

December 1st, 2009
4:09 pm

Out with tyhe old and in with the new!
Sorry guys has nothing to do with loyalty it is about 160 coaches who make over a million a year. Get a life even the great bear bryant had to let go!
Some day Penn St will do the right thing also!

Anonymous

December 1st, 2009
4:47 pm

Hey, obomaisaclown,

Learn to spell, moron.

It’s O-b-a-m-a.

Gen Neyland

December 1st, 2009
5:16 pm

Got 12? : Personally, I like the Peach Fil-et opportunity better than the Outback. 8pm 12/31 vs 11am 1/1, a ranked VT vs a Wisconsin. AU finished the year 2-5. Started great at 5-0 but fell off hard. It was the Outback’s choice and I’m fine with it if it becomes offcial. Yep, even though Tennessee struggled in the Dome under Fulmer, I’ll take it as a fresh beginning under Kiffin…

Anonymous #2

December 1st, 2009
5:17 pm

Anonymous,

You may be missing the point. The guy was probably misspelling Obama on purpose to add further insult.

hunker down

December 1st, 2009
6:10 pm

I got to admit as a long time Dawg fan I am teary eyed tonight as we are losing one of the greatest coaches of all time. He did so much for the game and his genius is legendary. Fake puntaroosie comes to mind as how he thought outside the box and kept defenses guessing. He mentored so many of the great ones during his tenor at FSU. As you mentioned Tony he gave so much more than he recieved in return. Hail to Bobby Bowdon. Thank you Coach for so many great moments!

TampaGator

December 1st, 2009
6:12 pm

Tide Rising…First, Dunlap probably will not play another down at Florida. I can’t see Meyer overlooking this kind of behavior before a big game like the SEC title game. Total lack of concern for his teammates by his actions. Secondly, Dunlap is a spectacular player, but he also takes a lot of downs off. The benefit from Trattou will be total hustle on every single down he plays. Also, Trattou is not a redshirt freshman. He was never redshirted, and he is a junior. He is injured, however, and his injury does not allow him to play every down. You will see a combination of Justin Trattou, Duke Lemmens, and William Green and the right defensive end position. You might even see a little of Earl Okine, the next Carlos Dunlap type player. He is also 6′7 and 290 lbs and is strong and quick. He IS a redshirt freshman who will be a star in the coming years. The Gators will miss Dunlap in passing situations, but not as much against the rush. Trattou is much better against the run. Green will probably come in during passing situations, and he is a very good speed rusher (and from Alabama in fact). I told a friend today…Carlos Dunlap just changed his name to Carlos Dumbass.

TampaGator

December 1st, 2009
6:20 pm

Flieschman…you idiot…Dunlap is no thug. He has never been in trouble at Florida before in the 3 years he has been there. He may have committed a terrribly stupid act, but he is no thug. You are for calling him one. Plus, I would be shocked if Meyer lets him play Saturday. It would send the wrong message if he does, and I don’t think Meyer will send that kind of message. It sounds like Dunlap was totally drunk…and driving in that state. I personally think he has played his last down at Florida unless he comes back next year, which he won’t. He has hurt his draft status, however. He is a risk player now. Dunlap actions and behavior is pure stupidity on his part and shows a lack of concern for his teammates. Meyer, I believe, will not tolerate the later part of that problem.

TampaGator

December 1st, 2009
6:24 pm

DawgVoiceofReason…you are right about one thing. Georgia fans don’t want a head coach that will bring them a national championship again. Say what you want, Spurrier is a great college coach. South Carolina is going to be a lot better than Georgia next year my friend. They will push Florida for the East title next year. Georgia won’t.

Ramguy

December 1st, 2009
6:26 pm

It’s true that it may have been for Bobby to retire. While I’m on that subject if there was ever a coach that the game had passed him by it was Vince Dooley. I may get shot at for saying so but I think that it was true when stepped down.

TampaGator

December 1st, 2009
6:31 pm

Fleishman…Meyer just suspended Dunlap for the SEC title game and and indefinitely for that matter. Want to apologize for being a slanderous idiot now????????????????????????????? Probably not.

TampaGator

December 1st, 2009
6:33 pm

Back to the subject of the article. It is sad to see Bobby go out like this. Penn State is not doing this to Paterno. Bobby gave his heart, soul, and blood to FSU (and sometimes his honor in who he recruited and who he let play after things happened). But no matter, he deserved better than this…and I hate the Noles.

Hawaii Dog

December 1st, 2009
6:39 pm

Georgia should hire Bobby as special assistant to CMR. I bet he can add fire to CMR personality.

A Fan of Neither But Loving It

December 1st, 2009
6:44 pm

Want to know why it’s relevant that Georgia beat Tech? Because Tech had the loudest mouth outside Alabama last week about how they would “spank” their opponent. I don’t hear a peep this week from the Nerd Herd. Way to go Georgia. Now if only Auburn could have won that game against the Toilet Bowls then we wouldn’t have to hear Satanation either!!!!

jesse james

December 1st, 2009
7:13 pm

Bobby Bowden will be missed. I had a friend that played baseball at FSU. He always talked how Coach Martin would have Coach Bowden come talk to the baseball team, the players loved it. It is really sad to see him go. College football will definitely miss him. I think of Coach Bryant, Coach Bowden, Coach Jordan, Coach Dooley, Coach Dodd, Coach Mclendon, Coach Broyles, Coach Royal, Coach Paraseghian, Coach Paterno, Coach Devine, Coach Majors, and Coach Russell. These guys helped make College Football what it is today. Coach Bowden, enjoy your retirement, you will always be FSU Football.

Alabama athletic director Dave Hart

December 1st, 2009
7:21 pm

“Bobby Bowden never allowed unparalleled success to change who he was as a person,” Hart said in a statement. “I think that is the best compliment one could receive. His core values and character, his display of genuine respect for others and his willingness to give of his time and himself to the many who reached out to him remained constant through the good times and the challenging times. We should all wish for that to be our legacy.”

“He represented Florida State University with dignity and class as its most visible ambassador. I wish much happiness for Bobby and Ann in their lives after football. They have certainly earned that.”

Tide Rising

December 1st, 2009
7:32 pm

Tampa gator,

Glad to see Meyer suspended Dunlap indefinitely and not just because it helps our chances but because the circumstances are serious. I read that he would do a half game suspension and I was figuring that would be really weak if it were true. The multi game or indefinite suspension is more in line with what I’ve seen handed down in cases like this given the circumstances.

As for the guys that will take over my mistake on Trattou. Its the other guy who is a redshirt freshman that I was also thinking of that will be a big impact player in the future. I was more worried about Dunlap and Cunningham than Spikes or Tebow so Dunlap will not be missed from my biased perspective. In any event I still think its a big loss for UF but I’m sure the guys that will be backing him up will have something to say about that.

As for William Green he is in fact one of the fastest 1st step pass rushers I’ve ever seen and we were more than a little crimson faced mad when a great Birmingham prospect decided to head to Gainesville. A little undersized for an every down player but still blazing fast for the pass rush. I think I’ve seen him blow through and block at least 1 or 2 punts. At Bama he would have been a perfect Jack linebacker in the 3 4 D. Can’t win em all I guess in the recruiting battles.

Ed

December 1st, 2009
7:55 pm

I’ve held Bowden in the highest regard and have enjoyed his career, but as cnnsi.com’s Stewart Mandel said, his career ended in a “sad, ugly fashion,” and I have to agree.

But I can’t blame FSU. They gave the man 5-6 years to retire on his own terms after it became obvious to most of us that the game was passing him by, and he simply refused to do so. If Bowden was, in effect, fired by FSU, then it only happened after Bowden was allowed to drag the program he spent so many years building up into mediocrity. FSU is no better than a middle-of-the-pack ACC team, and that’s sad.

I’ve never seen a more innovative, dynamic, and successful coach during his prime, but the fact remains that no one man is bigger than a state university. In recent years, Bowden has shown a selfish, self-absorbed side that few suspected he had. Apparently that applies to his wife as well. And one can’t help but wonder – was all of this because of a desire to outlast another coaching legend in order to get a record?

For those of us who would prefer to remember Bowden as a great coach and tormentor of UF, this day didn’t come soon enough. I hope as the years go on we will remember his glory days more than his sad slide into mediocrity and the almost petulant stubborness that he displayed on his way down.

Johnny DangerDawg

December 1st, 2009
8:51 pm

Tony’s story about Bobby Bowden’s hat is a great story that shows why Bobby Bowden is an enigmatic character and a good person. It also has nothing to do with his ability to coach and the fact that FSU needs to move on.

Dawg Whisperer

December 1st, 2009
8:52 pm

Bobby Bowden, Mark Richt and Tim Tebow represent the finest in human character in collegiate football. Obviously, their success on the football field gives them the opportunity to showcase the true meaning of success in life. The common theme that they will all agree on… John 3:16.

Johnny DangerDawg

December 1st, 2009
8:52 pm

Guess what, Tony… there are other great guys out there who deserve a shot to coach too. Just because you are friends with some of these coaches and love them so much doesn’t mean that guys who you’ve never met aren’t also great guys who deserve a chance. Your line of thinking is why CEO’s of major corporations hire their friends to be executives instead of hiring the hard-working guy who’s best for the job even though he doesn’t have a personal connection to the big boss.

Buckhead Bulldog

December 1st, 2009
9:41 pm

Bobby Bowden… A college football legend that will be sorely missed! Dagummit!

Good luck Noles!

#2 BAMA FAN

December 1st, 2009
10:06 pm

I hope Bobby Bowden enjoys retirement with his wife and family!! RTR

Dana

December 1st, 2009
10:15 pm

Great coach and leader for men to follow like myself.

TrueCrimson

December 1st, 2009
10:15 pm

I agree. Thanks for the memories Bobby. Best of luck with everything that you do in retirement.

RTR!!!

DawgTally

December 1st, 2009
10:19 pm

I live in Tallahassee and a dawg fan but it is sad to see the Legend fired. You can spin it how you want but TK fired him. They did not have a press confernece becausee they did not want Ann to speak. Bobby is such a nice man and I have seen him many times in the local eateries and he always speaks to you. Jimbo has pulled the snake over TK. He has never been successful. Look at the LSU vs AU game when his QB did not throw in end zone on last drive His paly calling in 3rd quater agaiinst the nerds which I attended cost them the game.I hate UF but FSU will not catch them with Jimbo. Look for Jimbo to clean house. A few more may be headed to UGA.

Nice job, TB

December 1st, 2009
10:23 pm

Jeff, you realize Tony’s a Georgia grad, right? TB, you’re wrong, Dawg nation saved the season, as much as possible, by beating Tech. Perhaps we’ll have a chance to stomp Clemson in a bowl game after the two of you play for the Average Collegiate Conference championship in Tampa in front of another rousing crowd of 30-40 thousand or so.

Nice job, TB

December 1st, 2009
10:29 pm

Sorry, hit the ‘enter’ key while I was watching the replay of Washaun running over Tech, again. As I was saying, it will be sweet, after Tech beats Clemson College of Cow Tipping, to hopefully play the orange hoard in a bowl game, so the ‘middle of the pack’ SEC team can beat the first and second place teams of the aforementioned ACC.

TrueCrimson

December 1st, 2009
10:31 pm

Look for Bobby to take a HC job with the University of Alabama …

… in Birmingham.

Mmmm… Hamburger Heaven! Dadgummit, that’s GOOD eatin’ ;-)

nolehole

December 1st, 2009
10:37 pm

The hardest thing in sports seems to be walking away at the right time. Bobby recruited kids who came from the toughest streets in Florida. And he told those kids families that he would treat those kids like they were his own. In life that means you give your kids several chances. If you look at the kids who went through that program that were truly special kids, Ward, Dunn, Brooks, and ehat they have accomplished, amazing. It is what his players have to say about him that matters and nothing else. Read those remarks.

Whopper Dawg

December 1st, 2009
10:44 pm

I am from Moultrie, Ga which is a little north of Tallahassee. FSU was absolutely nothing when Bowden came. What I remember is how he built it. He would go anywhere to play anybody. Started playing them in their house only, no one big would give him home and home. Started playing them close, and then started beating them, and then started getting home and home. He never dodged Miami (like Florida still does), never dodged Florida. One of the all time greats, not only for what he did, but how he did it – always with class, always with excellence.

It is a shame that the FSU administration handled this the way they did. If he wanted another year, he should gotten it. If it wasn’t for Coach Bowden, a change in FSU head coach position would not even warrant coverage.

DaltonLegalEagle

December 1st, 2009
11:12 pm

Mr. Barnhart,

I agree with your sentiments on the great Bobby Bowden and am also mad and sad at the way FSU chose to end his career there by forcing him out in effect. I would love to have seen him out-live, and out-win, Joe Paterno. But, I could not resist poking some fun at your 5 predictions of last Wednesday, Nov. 25th:

One out of five predictions in less than a week’s time must be embarrassing.

1. Ga. Tech and Ga. must have traded jerseys for Saturday’s game because they both played like the other looked all season.

2. Do you still think Bobby Bowden will be coaching FSU next year?

3. The Oklahoma Stoops will not Stoop to Notre Dame, but the Arizona Stoops might. If Notre Dame will provide a walker, do you think Bobby Bowden might consider it?

4. At least Colt McCoy covered one of your predictions. Perhaps you should have waited a week before making the others.

5. The jury’s still out, but my guess is Urban or Saban. Flip a coin. Sounds like it’s got as much a chance at being right as your predictions. Better get a new crystal ball… and a new hammer for Paul Johnson for beating off Dawgs next year.

ckgator

December 1st, 2009
11:58 pm

Tony – must be tough doing your job when “know it all’s” such as DALTON LEGAL EAGLE have it all figured out.

DLE – if you are an attorney, I’m glad I’m not one of your clients. Urban or Saban to ND? To you even read? Anything?

Callie

December 1st, 2009
11:58 pm

Thanks for your thoughts Mr. Barnhart.

ckgator

December 2nd, 2009
12:01 am

The more I think about it, the worse I feel for Bobby Bowden. Hated the guy for years – thought he was full of it half the time. But he sure deserved a lot better than what TK Weathernuts did to him.

I predict TK is out on his backside within 3 years.

ckgator

December 2nd, 2009
12:07 am

Gator haters: stop talking. Urban did the right thing today and you have nowhere to go in your criticism.

No “Kiffie” excuses to keep a starter on the field at any cost (Janzen). Just disappointment, discipline, and concern for his family.

Hopefully they can quickly move past this, and focus on what they can control in Atlanta. I think they will. It’s what Champions do.

UGA75

December 2nd, 2009
2:00 am

One thing about being on the third page is no one ever reads what is written there.

Coach was always a classy coach, he had a style and tried to produce men who were ready to face the world. He attempted to teach values, and how to act like a winner regardless of what happened on the football field.
As a human being he is a great husband, father, grandfather, and human being. That is what makes this so hard for Florida State. His control over his program might not have been the best it could be, but he was always a person who represented the School, Administration, and State with class and dignity. Think about this for a moment. Coaches Myers, Saban, Johnson, Spurrier, and especially the jerk at UT all seem to be very good coaches, maybe even great, but none of them will ever hear the adjectives classy or dignified attached to their name.

Bobby we will miss you, and we will remember the good things about you, your family, and your teams long after we forget what your record was the last few years. May GOD Bless you and your family now and in the future.

The End of an Era | Football Picks

December 2nd, 2009
7:02 am

[...] Tony Barnhart, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: There are so many games and so many stories he will remember when he thinks of Bowden. But one story will always be at the top of his list. [...]

Rick White

December 2nd, 2009
8:02 am

Thank You Coach Bowden for the wonder years. You worked hard to accomplish the FSU goals. I remember the 4 wins in 3 years and no matter what or record was at the end of the season I gave thanks that we did not have to look at those years of back to back to back losses. Heck we couldn’t even beat Memphis State in Tallahassee. You made Seminoles proud to follow their team and the spirit infused into the program will go on. FSU will rebuild and become again. You are a CHAMPION/ The Super Chief / and for one I am sorry to see any shred of negatism surrounding your departure. You in my mind had every right for one more year. I attended FSU in the early 70’s. It is not the same, thanks to you.
God Bless You / Your Family / and go out and enjoy your retirement!
Sincerely,
Rick

Gator McKluskey

December 2nd, 2009
8:29 am

Dad-Gummit Bobby…I hate that my former team forced you out…maybe you can get a small role in a film…that’s all I can get now…Dad-gummit..!!!!

GatorGuy

December 2nd, 2009
8:43 am

Yeah, I might have O&B glasses but I remember Bowden in 1994 (before OT came to college football) whose team was down 31-3 going into the 4th quarter against the Gators. His Offense had their way with the Gator D and scored 21 unanswered points to make it 31-24. With about 30 seconds on the clock, they score again. It is now 31-30. What does Bobby do? Go for the jugular against a D that has not stopped them all quarter and go for 2? NO, he kids the PAT and gets a tie.

A decade or so before that, Michigan was in the same position. They went for 2 and lost. At the post game presser, Bo simply stated “Michigan does not play for and is not satisfied with a tie.” FSU and Bobby Bowden seem to be satisfied with a Tie.

DogGoneGaDawg

December 2nd, 2009
8:53 am

Tony:
I am mad and I will not relent. The problem is that those who are now forcing Bowden out have no idea of what it was like before he arrived. Oh, there were a few bright moments namely the Gator Bowl win over Oklahoma back in the mid-sixties featuring Fred Biletnikoff and then the Gator Bowl tie with Penn State featuring Ron Sellars in the late sixties. Other than this FSU football was bad, I mean really bad.

I am a native Georgian but I grew up in Tallahassee as a result of my father’s work. One of my best friends was a guy named Paul Hughey. His father was the color commentator on radio for FSU football. Harry Hughey’s claim to fame was the fact that he was the first quarterback of Florida State when football was instituted after the school became co-ed back in the late forties. With Harry at the helm in a game of going-nowhere teams FSU was victorious over Louisville whose quarterback was Johnny Unitas. But it was down-hill from there.

I distinctly remember attending several games with Paul and Harry. And one might think that Paul and I had a free ride. Not so, but almost. You see, Doak Campbell Stadium was nothing more than an over-sized twisted steel high school stadium with a capacity in the low forties. But FSU could not come close to filling the place and as a result “General Admission” were offered for the not-so-big games like Virginia Tech and Houston and South Carolina, etc. And what was the admission price? One dollar. Yes, that’s right, $1.00. One, decimal point and two zeroes dollar. For crying out loud, my high school games were $1.50!

Have you taken a look lately at Doak S. Campbell Stadium? No resemblance. And who is responsible? Bobby Bowden.

Now those who were in diapers at the time or perhaps only a glimmer in their father’s eyes want to force Bobby out on their terms. This is nothing less than a shameful act. Could you imagine this happening to Bear Bryant? Oh, and I almost forgot, you do remember Alabama courting Bowden for the head coaching vacancy. Perhaps Bobbby should have taken them up on it.

I do have an opinion about what has happened to FSU football but that is another story for another day. Today is the day to be mad. Today is a story about imbeciles with no class.

TommyJack

December 2nd, 2009
9:10 am

good post, dawggone

Big Fart Alligator

December 2nd, 2009
11:27 am

Big Fat Alligator – Might want to look at Bobby’s career record against your beloved Gators. He is the won who did the whipping! I bet you have been a Gator fan for what 4 maybe 5 years?

Big Fart Alligator

December 2nd, 2009
11:28 am

Big Fat Alligator – Might want to look at Bobby’s career record against your beloved Gators. He is the won one did the whipping! I bet you have been a Gator fan for what 4 maybe 5 years?

Big Fart Alligator

December 2nd, 2009
11:28 am

Big Fat Alligator – Might want to look at Bobby’s career record against your beloved Gators. He is the one who did the whipping! I bet you have been a Gator fan for what 4 maybe 5 years?

Unmount Warhorse

December 2nd, 2009
12:05 pm

What do you mean, “long after he was enrolled” Deion Sanders (note the spelling) played? Deion skipped his finals. THere was no rule against it. Grades were not reported before the bowls at that time and he was still academically eligible. FSU created a rule to keep it from happening again, not the government. NOte that Rix was not allowed to play in the 2002 (technically 03) Sugar Bowl because of this internal rule, insuring FSU’s lose to UGA.

GatorGuy

December 2nd, 2009
1:22 pm

Umm Big Fart Alligator – Bowden has a career losing record against UF.

Scott

December 2nd, 2009
3:10 pm

I think that the Administrators at FSU should be booted, the President of the University, the Athletic Director, President of the Boosters and the Chairman or the Board of Trusties. They have shown no loyalty to the most loyal Seminole ever. This was handled all wrong and it’s shameful! Bobby created FSU’s Athletic Program and with that program, came a better university and a strong Booster Club. Look around the campus, you’ll see lots of things that are there because of Bobby. To fire him after his loyal 34 year career is just shameful. If this was looked at simply as a business decision then as am Alum, Booster and Season Ticket Holder I will make a business decision now and keep my money and donations, FSU and their Boosters don’t deserve my hard earned cash and I sure can use it these days! You will be missed Coach Bowden, Thank You for the memories!

Ed

December 2nd, 2009
7:07 pm

Bowden has a losing record against UF only because he stayed about 5-6 years too long. He was 17-12-1 before the current slide and 8-5-1 against the Evil “Genius”. Bobby got the better of UF when both were on top at the same time. Unfortunately he pulled a Willie Mays and didn’t know when it was time to hang it up. Losing to Ron Zook in ‘04 should have been the first sign that the game had passed him by.

It’s sad, really. Bowden’s demise as a coach is a reminder of our mortality. Father Time wins in the end no matter how stubbornly we try to deny that reality.

Ed

December 2nd, 2009
7:14 pm

To those who insist that FSU didn’t show enough loyalty to Bowden, I would suggest that they have it backwards: Bowden didn’t show enough loyalty to FSU. It’s not like it was an entirely one-sided relationship. Remember, Bowden had a good coaching job (W. Va.) and left it to take the FSU job, so it’s not like it was an unattractive job in the mid 70s. FSU was a school that won some in the 60s, was in a warm, sunny location, and in a hotbed of high school talent. FSU also made Bowden a very rich man doing the only job he knew how to do. Along the way, they deified him.

Is it disloyal to allow a coach an entire decade to retire on his own terms? Bowden turned 70 back in ‘99 for crying out loud. How long should FSU have waited to move on and try to rebuild its declining football program? One more year? Five more years? Until Bowden passed away?

I don’t envy the FSU hierarchy, but I blame Bowden for forcing them to make a hard choice such as this. Bowden had more than enough time to leave on his own terms – he simply refused to take the opportunity. I don’t see how that’s FSU’s fault.

[...] a.m. – ESPN: PSU avoided Bowden mess with JoePaUpdate – 8:49 a.m. – Atlanta Constitution Journal: How I will remember Bobby BowdenUpdate – 8:42 a.m. – National media starting to pick up Bowden story, Baltimore Sun and Wall Street [...]

Mel

December 3rd, 2009
3:08 pm

Tony, you’re absolutely right. Coach Bowden made that program. He earned the right to say when and how. Shameful how they treated him. One bad season does not define a career or a program. FSU definitely lost my respect the day they made the announcement.

Hank

December 3rd, 2009
3:33 pm

In his younger days Bobby had 6 kids at home. On Saturdays he would put on his work clothes and tell Ann he had work to do. He would then drive to a gas station and put on his golf clothes and head to the course for a round with his buddies. Ann didn’t find out about this until many years later at a roast. Sounds like my kind of guy.

Ed

December 9th, 2009
4:42 pm

Thank you for your comments. I’ll remember several things about Coach Bowden:

(1) The story that was told about him in the movie about Marshall football; I assume it was based on fact. In it, he appeared as a very gracious man; which, from all reports is consistent with reality.

(2) I’ll remember him for his son Tommy; who, although he has not been given adequate credit, resurrected Clemson football from its sorry state before he took that role.

Paul Bramlett

January 1st, 2010
2:53 pm

What A true christan and the greatest college football coach there will ever be.FSU football will never be the same with Bobby gone.I would say “God bless you Bobby Bowden”but it looks like he has already taken care of that.You are so blessed and will be missed by every true seminole fan.

Chris

January 3rd, 2010
9:42 pm

For everyone that thinks Bobby Bowden is some hero, just remember he’s not. He wasn’t a good coach, just a winning coach. He let his players, that were any good, get away with anything. He had absolutely no respect for the game. Also don’t forget he was FIRED from West Virginia, and if he didn’t “retire” he would’ve been FIRED from Florida State as well. He was a good man while coaching at West Virginia, maybe if they hadn’t canned him he would still be a good man today. Yes before any rude comments are mad about this comment I am in fact a West Virginia fan, but not an angry one