Classy guy

Published 8:59 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Florida State University announced Tuesday that Bobby Bowden has one more game as the Seminoles’ head coach.

After 34 seasons as head coach, Bowden will coach the Seminoles in a bowl game and finish his career as one of the winningest coaches in the history of major college football, a news release said.

Sure, Bowden was more than one of the winningest coaches, but winning wasn’t everything when you talk about Bowden.

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He was transformational.

He helped transform Tallahassee, Florida State University and certainly some of the men he coached. During the days when he started building the program—road wins against Nebraska, Ohio State, Notre Dame, LSU and Michigan—Tallahassee’s busy Tennessee Street, that runs by FSU’s campus, had a traffic jam because fans poured into the street to celebrate.

If you grew up in Tallahassee but graduated from another college, FSU was probably still your football favorite—you couldn’t help it—all because of Bowden.

He was funny, charming and classy.

Sure he won, but winning isn’t everything, and it’s too bad that fans and boosters seemed to think that Bowden’s last few seasons and his age were reason enough to force his retirement.

Bowden thanked his wife, family, coaches, players and the fans in the news release.

But thank you, Bobby Bowden, for the memories and for being one heck of a good guy.