July 21 (UPI) — Hall of Fame college football coach Bobby Bowden was diagnosed with a terminal medical condition, it was announced Wednesday.
“I’ve always tried to serve God’s purpose for my life, on and off the field, and I am prepared for what is to come,” Bowden said in a statement. “My wife Ann and our family have been life’s greatest blessing. I am at peace.”
Bowden didn’t disclose his condition in the statement.
Bowden coached the Seminoles for 34 seasons before his retirement in 2009. He is the second-winningest head coach in Division I history with 357 career victories. His teams won national championships in 1993 and 1999.
“Coach Bowden built a football dynasty and raised the national profile of Florida State University, and he did it with dignity, class and a sense of humor,” FSU President John Thrasher said in a news release. “Although his accomplishments on the field are unmatched, his legacy will go far beyond football.
“His faith and family have always come first, and he is an incredible role model for his players and fans alike. He is beloved by the FSU family.”
Bowden had a “tough” bout with COVID-19 in October after a lengthy hospital stay for a leg infection. He also was hospitalized for five days in late June, telling the Tallahassee Democrat earlier this month: “I feel fine, but I can’t do much.”
The 91-year-old Bowden has been treated for cancer on at least three occasions — once for prostate cancer and twice for skin cancer — over the years.
Bowden was the head coach at West Virginia from 1970-75 before taking over at Florida State in 1976. He quickly transformed the Seminoles into a national powerhouse, guiding the school to 12 ACC Championships and two national titles.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.