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Former players reflect on legacy of Bobby Bowden

Posted at 12:25 PM, Aug 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 10:12:20-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Bobby Bowden is recognizable for fans of college football -- but also those that have never watched a game. Bowden's faith is what many will remember him by and that's what makes his name recognizable for so many.

"He was like a second father, Christian man, great role model," said former FSU quarterback Charlie Ward, who won a Heisman Trophy under Bowden in 1993.

"He wanted the best for you in life, not just football, and that's one thing I liked about Coach Bowden," said former FSU wide receiver De'Cody Fagg, who played under Bowden from 2004 to 2007.

"One of the classiest guys ever. In football, and in life period," said former FSU defensive back Kyler Hall, who played under Bowden from 2001 to 2005.

A life spent impacting thousands. Bobby Bowden's legacy spans way beyond the football field.

"What he meant to me was a man that brought stability, faith, representation of what it is to be a man, to be a husband and father," said former FSU defensive back Corey Fuller, who played under Bowden from 1992 to 1994.

"I think back and I reflect on how he led us," said former linebacker Ernie Sims, who played under Bowden from 2003 to 2005. "I have a great appreciation for him and what type of man he was and the time he invested in us, and he did it for so long."

Six seasons at West Virginia. 34 years as head coach of the Florida State Seminoles. Two National titles. 12 ACC Championships. Memories to last a lifetime.

"Coach Bowden is a legend, said Fagg. "Once you've seen him, people see him today and still want his autograph, still want to take pictures. That just shows you the impact he put on not just the area, but the world as a whole. Who doesn't know the name, Bobby Bowden?"

"Friday nights were always very special when we would have our team meeting," said Hall."Those messages stick with you more really than what you did on the field. They meant so much then, but now, almost 20 years later, those messages you start to see them in your daily life."

Lives impacted by a life that will never be forgotten.

"His legacy will never be forgotten," said Fuller. "It'll live forever because of how many players he touched and coached at one institution."

"He was a legend before I got there, so I was grateful to be a part of his legendary status in a sense," said Ward. "It's something he'll always be. He's made a great impact on the community. It's something we'll always remember."

Always remember. Never forget. A legacy that'll live on forever.

NFL Hall of Famer and former FSU linebacker Derrick Brooks also took to social media to remember Coach Bowden.

Four-time Pro Bowler and former FSU defensive back Antonio Cromartie took to Twitter Sunday to remember Coach Bowden as well.