TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — From Heisman winner Chris Weinke, to local products like Ernie Sims and former assistant coaches like Chuck Amato. The celebration of coach Bobby Bowden’s life has brought back his extended family to send him off in true Bowden fashion.
"You know when it’s all said and done this is how you want it done. I mean you want people to come together and say you lived your life purpose," says Ernie Sims.
“Obviously it’s a sad time but it’s a great celebration to talk about the stories and greatness of coach Bowden," adds Brad Johnson.
But before his time here on earth came to an end, Bowden made sure to have a few final phone calls. And those on the receiving end will remember them forever.
“And I just talked to him about a week and a half ago. And he was so funny he said Chuck I know what you’re doing right now, says former assistant coach Chuck Amato."And I said what’s that coach? And he goes, you’re sitting down and you’re crying. And I said no coach. I've been standing up and crying for the last 10 minutes.”
“It was almost like we had spoken a week before. And after numerous years of not being able to see him," adds Heisman trophy winner Chris Weinke. "Having the opportunity to sit down in his living room and just reminisce about the good ol’ days was a lot of fun.”
Bobby Bowden had three core values that he instilled into everyone he met. It’s those three values that shaped the lives all those who came to say goodbye to their coach, friend and father.
"Faith, family and football," says Amato. "To add it to what Bobby would say, what was your first gut feeling. How does your family feel about it? And where can you win the most games? 14 years ranked 4th and above. C’mon tell that guy at Alabama (Nick Saban) good thing we never played him.”