TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Just moments after news broke that FSU Coaching legend Bobby Bowden died, fans like Florida State sophomore Justin Poole took to his statue at Doak Campbell Stadium to remember the football giant.
"I decided to pay my respects because he's someone who has really contributed a lot to this university. Not just in terms of football, but as a man who gave his all to this place," said Poole.
Flowers, teddy bears, and notes are now perched at the foot of his likeness.
"I've been a Florida State fan for 25 years. Bobby Bowden was my first exposure to college football," said Russell Bruce.
Coming from the north eastern part of the country, Bruce says it was Bowden that sparked his love for college football.
"Bobby Bowden is everything. Coming down here to say goodbye kind of sucks, but it is what it is. It's life," said Bruce. "It's something special to see a guy spend that much time in one place. You don't see that anymore. Him and Joe Paterno are the last of a dying breed and that's all there is to it."
With flowers in and, he says he felt it important to show his 8 year old son the power Bowden had on this community, while teaching him more about the Tallahassee legacy.
"Without Bobby Bowden, there would be no Florida State football. He needs to understand history. It's what makes us who we are," said Bruce. "Without Bobby, there is no FSU. Florida State might be here but they're not the football program that they are. They're not the household name that they are without Bobby."
A legend, bot on and off the field, others told stories about meeting the man known for being ingrained in his community.
Masao Seki remembers how Bowden made his baby shower gift extra special, all with a signature. Seki met Bowden when he was a server at a local resaurant. The Florida State graduate says once he told Bowden about the FSU bib he bought for his friends, Bowden was eager to give it the extra special touch; an autograph.
Bowden remembered Seki, coming in again the day the baby was born.
"When the baby was born, I had him talk a little bit on Facetime with baby Violet and the mother. It's a sad day today to see he is gone and no longer with us, but I have a great memory with him," said Seki.
Seki says Bowden's death is a great loss, but the mark he left on Tallahassee is incomparable
"I think he is the reason Florida State has the respect we do. I think there's not going to be anybody to come near him to do what he did for the community," said Seki.
A message others paying their respects agree with.
"It just shows his character that he was a great human being. It wasn't just about football. It was about life in general," said Bruce.
Memories like those that will be passed on to Noles fans for generations to come.
nat- great job coach
While a small memorial has grown on the Bowden family lawn.. there are signs up at the home asking for privacy.
So, If you want to remember him... here is where you'll do it.
At Doak Campbell Stadium... Jada Williams, ABC 27.>