SportsRemembering Bobby Bowden

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How one Bobby Bowden phone call encapsulates his love for others

Posted at 8:28 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 20:28:25-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — On Sunday morning, Kyle Griffis woke up to find out the legendary Bobby Bowden had died at the age 91.

“I didn’t really know what else to do this morning. When I saw the news I went up to Publix and got a thing of flowers and drove here," says Kyle Griffis. "Because this is where I felt like I needed this morning.”

Kyle became the first to lay down a bouquet of flowers underneath the Bobby Bowden Statue outside Doak Campbell Stadium. An opportunity to pay respects to a man who brought hope to his family. On one of their darkest days.

"In 2009 my father (Kevin Griffis), a walk-on tight end from 30 years prior was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer," he said. "And the day my father passed away we got a call from athletics department at FSU. And it was coach Bowden.”

In a time of mourning, Bobby Bowden, through a single phone call gave the Griffis family hope for a better tomorrow.

“It was the last time I heard my fathers voice. The last person my father spoke to was coach Bowden on the phone," Griffis adds. "I don’t think he knows what that meant to our family.”

It didn’t matter if you were the star quarterback or a walk-on. When you were a part of Bobby Bowden’s program you were a part of his family. Not just for your time at FSU. But for the rest of your life.

“And obviously that’s a huge part of people’s love for this place. And love for him. And that will absolutely be a central part moving forward of what we remember about him.”