TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is an organization that had the full support of Bobby Bowden, so much so that the family is asking for people to donate to FCA instead of giving flowers, something those here locally didn't know he was doing. For some of those that knew coach Bowden best, the gesture doesn't surprise them one bit.
"His way of discipline was like a real daddy, with love," reflected Mickey Andrews, who coached with Bowden for 26 seasons at Florida State. "Compassionate. That will never, I will never forget that. I learned that from him. "
Andrews said Bowden taught him how to lead, and it's a trait that's led Andrews, over time, to the board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"He encouraged you to be involved in activities that would be valuable to you and in your service," he said. "FCA was in one area that he did."
"FCA is a great tool to connect and communicate that relationship," added Kez McCorvey, who is the Multi-Area Director for FCA in north Florida. He played for Bowden in the 1990's. "I believe coach Bowden saw that, and saw what athletics had done in his life and through his life and he saw the potential and the possibility."
Bowden introduced FCA to Florida State when he took over as head coach in 1976.
"It was a direct correlation to the type of culture he wanted to have on his team," said McCorvey.
Now, every middle and high school in Leon County has a chapter of FCA.
"You couldn't ask for a better representative for FCA than Bobby Bowden," said Josh King, who is the Leon County Director for FCA. "All of our core values, serving, integrity, teamwork, excellence - he embodies them all."
Traits that with Bowden's passing, FCA looks to continue to spread the message of Jesus Christ and grow.
"I was truly touched by that gesture," said McCorvey of the family wanting people to donate to the organization. "It paints the possibility of what a coach could be. What is the impact a coach can make? Coach Bowden makes that, he starts to paint the picture of that clearly for coaches to see."
"Those are the wins. Those are the wins that matter," said King. "It's not the ones you experience on the field or the court. Those feel great. Those feel good in the moment."
"They turn that scoreboard off after so long," added Andrews.
"18 minutes after the games over, that scoreboard is off," said King, "and the real scoreboard is still on."
A scoreboard Bowden helped light for many, all over the country.
"I would love to have a penny for every FCA event, or church, that coach Bowden was involved with," said Andrews. "He was a man that never got off that mission of serving the Lord."
A mission others will now, continue to lead. To donate to the North Florida FCA, you can click here.