Updating the update of the updates, Bobby Bowden has released a statement through Florida State’s media relations department officially announcing his retirement.
Bowden will coach the Seminoles in their bowl, at which point Jimbo Fisher will take over as FSU’s new head coach.
Here’s the text of the release, released just a few minutes ago:
Florida State University Head Football Coach Bobby Bowden announced Tuesday that the Seminoles’ upcoming bowl game will be his last game. Bowden, who will complete his 34th season as coach at Florida State, will coach the Seminoles in the bowl game and finish his career as one of the winningest coaches in the history of major college football.
“The bowl game will be my last game as head football coach at Florida State,” said Bowden. “It’s been a great 34 seasons.
“I’d like to thank my wife Ann and my family for their love and support. There were a lot of nights when I was on the road and not at home at the dinner table. We all know that’s part of it.
“I’d also like to thank the coaches and their families who helped build the program into something that is special. You can’t have a successful program without players and we have been blessed to have young men who are winners both on and off the field. I want to thank them and their families for committing 4-5 years of their lives to me and to FSU.
“Finally, I’d like to thank the University and FSU fans who have supported the Florida State program. We’ve got one more game and I look forward to enjoying these next few weeks as the head football coach.”
Bowden was named National Coach of the Year six times (1979, 1980, 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1999), and a national award presented by The Fellowship of Christian Athletes bears his name. He led Florida State to national championships in 1993 and again in 1999, the latter being the first team in the history of the Associated Press poll to go wire-to-wire ranked No. 1.
Wetherell, who will retire from the presidency of Florida State when his successor is installed as president — perhaps within a few months — said Bowden’s “sterling personality and character” personified Florida State University.
“Bobby Bowden is not only one of the most outstanding college football coaches in history but also a great man who you would want as a mentor to your children,” Wetherell said.
“Every true Seminole fan appreciates all that he has done in service to the university and all that he has accomplished for its football program — two national championships, 12 ACC championships, 14 straight seasons among the Associated Press’ Top Five, two Heisman Trophy winners and a Rhodes Scholar, induction into the College Football Hall of Fame — but more than that, he has been an off-the-field mentor to so many young men looking to their future.”
Wetherell, who was one of those young men, said he hopes Florida State’s Athletics Department will plan a celebration and recognition for Bowden during next year’s football season.
In his own tribute to Bowden, Wetherell said:
“Bobby Bowden has served as our head football coach and inspirational ‘friend-raiser’ for more than 30 years. He led our football program to unprecedented success and established it among the nation’s elite for many years. He set records of achievement on the field that will probably never be equaled.
“Bobby Bowden contributed in many ways to the overall success and advancement of a young and growing university, and the entire Bowden family is also a major part of this success story.
“I played for Bobby Bowden 45 years ago, when I was a young man, and he was an assistant coach under Bill Peterson.
“The bond between player and coach is strong enough, but our relationship forged even more powerful bonds as we worked hard for the university’s advancement. With me and other presidents, Bobby Bowden helped raise public and private dollars to build some of the most impressive athletics facilities in the nation and to bring additional recognition to Florida State’s academic achievements.
“Millions of Americans could see the good work and academic contributions of our university through the window of national television –a window that winning football teams provide for their institutions.
“Bobby Bowden, in many ways, became the face of Florida State. It was his sterling personality and character that personified this university. And because his influence was so powerful, we were able to advance far beyond what many of us ever dreamed.”