BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WTXL) — Samford University will officially name the field in their on-campus football stadium as Bobby Bowden Field during the team's home game on Sept. 25, the university announced Wednesday.
Bowden, who passed away in August, was a Samford University (then Howard College) graduate and was a standout on the football team from 1949 to 1952. As a quarterback, he earned Little All-America honors following his senior season.
Bowden later returned to his alma mater as its head football coach in 1959. He stayed through the 1962 season, posting a 31-6 record, and his .838 winning percentage is still the highest of any head coach in program history.
After serving as an assistant coach at Florida State and West Virginia, Bowden was hired as the head coach at West Virginia in 1970 and served in that role until 1975. In his time in charge of the WVU program, he accumulated a 42-26 record.
In 1976, Bowden began his legendary run as the head coach at Florida State. During his time with the Seminoles, Bowden won 304 games, and he led the program to the 1993 and 1999 national titles. Bowden was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006, and he was a member of the inaugural Samford Athletics Hall of Fame class in 2017.
For his long head coaching career, Bowden won 377 games, 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and two national titles. His 377 wins are the second-most in NCAA Division I-FBS history.
"Although Bobby Bowden is perhaps best known for his amazing coaching career, he is also known in the Samford community as a devoted family man and a person of deep Christian faith," Samford University President Dr. Beck Taylor said. "We want to honor Coach Bowden's exemplary character and his love for all things Samford with the naming of Bobby Bowden Field. We are proud to link our football program with his enduring legacy."
The dedication will take place during the halftime of the ETSU game. A "Bobby Bowden Field" sign has been added to the front of the Bashinsky Press Tower. Members of Bowden's family, including his wife, Ann, will be on hand at the game for the dedication, according to the university.
This marks the second time an addition to the stadium has been made in Bowden's honor. A statue of the legendary coach was placed outside the east gate of the stadium in 2013.