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Fans paying final respects to Bowden

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 5:14 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) - Support for legendary Florida State football head coach Bobby Bowden continues to pour in one day after he died at 91 from pancreatic cancer.

Bowden’s career continues to be celebrated by a stream of fans paying their respects at the football field that carries is name.

Outside the athletic Center, there are flowers. Lots of them.

And notes expressing admiration.

“He was everyone’s coach,” said lifelong fan Edward Miranda.

Miranda was en route from Texas to Miami when he stopped to say a prayer.

“He was such a great public speaker. A great coach. A great personality. You know, there was nothing bad you could say about him,” said Miranda.

Bowden brought hope and fans to the FSU program when he arrived in 1976.

As the team started winning, local songwriters went to work.

Lyrics from Tallahassee artist Murray Goff read: “Tickets are hard to come by since the Seminoles are good. Just tell them Bobby sent you”.

University President John Thrasher said it was Bowden that helped build FSU into what it is today.

“Clearly, Coach Bowden really really was the gold standard, if you will, for putting Flordia State in a position to be recognized around the country,” said Thrasher.

Bowden will lie in state in the rotunda of the State Capitol on Friday, an honor usually reserved for governors.

Jonathan Williams played at Ottawa University in Canada and was in town to pay respects.

“You know, we idolized him, so we always dreamt of coming here and being part of that FSU atmosphere,” said Williams.

The parade of admirers is likely to continue throughout the week.

“He meant so much to everybody,” said Tallahassee local Linda Edson.

On Saturday, there will be a public funeral service at the civic center in the capital city, the same place where the coach presided over sold-out booster luncheons.

Bowden will be laid to rest at a private ceremony in Alabama.

Copyright 2021 Capitol News Service. All rights reserved.