SportsRemembering Bobby Bowden

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Bobby Bowden's West Virginia connection shows his lasting impact around the country

Posted at 7:02 PM, Aug 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-15 19:02:22-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Sunday the legendary Bobby Bowden will be laid to rest in Trussville, Alabama. The lasting legacy he has left can be felt far beyond the Capital City. It’s a legacy that has touched lives in every corner of the country. And especially in the places he once called home.

“He meant the world to me. I lost my parents in high school. And coach Bowden sort of adopted me," says Mickey Plumley. "As he did so many young men that he looked after and took care of.”

Bobby Bowden changed the lives of so many of his former players. But not all wore the Garnet and Gold. Some dawned Blue and Gold from his time at West Virginia. Andno matter what color you wore, Bobby Bowden changed the game of football and the life of every person who had the honor to call him coach.

“He did a great job and that’s the way you should play the game. The character he built, I hope it never goes away. I hope it always stays here,” adds John Hale.

"We felt like we not only lost our coach who had become extremely famous. But also we’ve lost a really good friend and mentor for sure," Garland Hudson said. "We’ll forever be grateful for the influence that coach Bowden has had on our lives.”

And there are guys like George Henshaw, who not only played under Bowden at West Virginia but also got to coach alongside him. Henshaw came to Florida State with Bowden in 1976 and from there got to learn the game from arguably the best teacher you could ever ask for. His son would later play under Bowden at FSU. A family oredeal that happened solely because of a coach who wanted the people around him to succeed as much as he did.

“It’s rewarding for coach Bowden. He wanted to be able to influence people's lives. And you can see that's exactly what he did," George Henshaw told ABC 27. "He’s been a great influence on the Henshaw family.”