SportsCollege SportsFSU


Faith, family, and football: honoring Bobby Bowden's life and legacy

Posted at 11:21 PM, Aug 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-14 23:55:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Saturday's Celebration of Life featured speeches from former players and coaches. Some of coaches children spoke as well, and coach Bobby Bowden's message of faith, family, and football was one echoed by everyone.

"He may be dancing in Heaven," said Charlie Ward of his message of faith. "His legacy will carry on through everyone he touched."


"He was talking about every single day, "when are you going to see your kids?"' added Mark Richt, who was an assistant coach under Bowden for several seasons. "He wanted to make sure they stay connected to our wives and children."

and football.

"There was my dad, he had Tasha who helps us so much get him dressed, and he was dressed in his khaki pants, and his garnet shirt, and he had his hat in his lap," said son Terry Bowden. "Robin said where are you going? He said 'I have to get to the game,' even in those final days."

All three pillars were on display Saturday, but most of all, faith and family.

"When I die and go to heaven, and I know I will, all the statues, trophies, championships, etc. will be in vain," said Terry Bowden of a letter his father wrote to the entire family after one of his grandsons died in a car accident. "Somewhere along the line I failed you if you're not there."

Whether that family was blood or not.

"I tell you what, I know one thing, there would have been a few more that would have been here, but simply couldn't get away," said Mickey Andrews, who was Bowden's defensive coordinator. "I know one thing. There's love in this casket."

"If your name was buddy or gal, don't get too excited, because most people, if he didn't know who you were already, were buddy and gal," quipped Terry Bowden.

The love coach Bowden had for everyone, evident by the love shown during his celebration of his life.

"We wanted to win for him as much as we wanted to win for us because we loved him so much," said Richt.

No matter the outcome on the field, he always went home to his first and greatest love, Ann, a love seen firsthand by the children they raised.

"Dearest Ann, I will see you later. Forever yours, Bobby Bowden," read daughter Ginger Bowden Madden of a letter her father penned to his future wife before they were married.

Forever yours, forever a Seminole, forever a legend.