DOUGLAS, GA. (WTXL) — Before coming to national prominence. Bobby Bowden began his coaching career at South Georgia State College in Douglas. From 1955 until 1958 he coached football, baseball and basketball. And on top of it all served as the athletic director.
Even after his 34 year career and two national titles with Florida State, people who knew him from Georgia said his home was in Douglas. The family-like bond led to a decades long agreement to reunite once a year. And fortunately, some of his former players were able to reunite with him one last time in June. Where they reflected on the impact he's had on their lives.
"He touched us so much, in so many ways, and so many times. And I'll say this, next to my daddy he's the greatest man I have ever met in my lifetime," said former player Leon Smith. "I didn't realize it until I've been out of college for about 15 years and I finally realized, good lord if I hadn't been there with Coach Bowden and played for him, I wouldn't be where I am today. And I wouldn't have the job I got, and all of that.”