For the first time since he was unceremoniously shown the door following the 2009 season, Bobby Bowden will return to the dadgum field on which he transformed Florida State into a national football power and still bears his name.
In a release, Florida State announced that Bowden is one of seven former FSU athletes or coaches who will be inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony, which will include former FSU quarterback Danny Kanell, will take place Aug. 31.
The next day, the legendary coach will be in attendance at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium as the Seminoles open the 2012 season against Murray State. Bowden’s name was added to the 60-year-old stadium in 2004 during the Year 29 of his 34-year run as FSU’s head coach.
As noted via Twitter by Ira Schoffel of the Tallahassee Democrat, putting Bowden into FSU’s Hall of Fame is something the school has wanted to do for the past two years. However, Schoffel wrote, Bowden “really didn’t want to do it and overshadow” his replacement, Jimbo Fisher, and the stamp he’s attempting to put on the program.
Of course, how Bowden was dumped and the very critical and unwarranted comments that led up to said dumping likely played a role in the coach not wanting to immediately embrace his former employer as well.
Regardless of the whys and hows of his departure, seeing Bowden on that field once again after nearly three years away will likely be one of the more emotional moments of the upcoming season.