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‘I owe that man everything’: Tallahassee high school coaching great thankful for Bowden’s impact, influence

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Flags flew at half staff on Friday in the Capital City as Florida State fans said goodbye to legendary head football coach Bobby Bowden.

Hundreds filed past his casket in the Old Florida Capitol Rotunda throughout the day, sharing condolences with his family.

After a morning at the Old Capitol, Bowden’s casket was transferred to the Moore Athletic Center on FSU’s campus as he lays in repose on in the shadow of the stadium he led the Seminoles for 34 seasons.

A weekend of final farewells began Friday to the college football great in what has been an emotional day.

Fans, alumni and friends of FSU are paying their respects, but so too are those who sport the blue and old gold of the West Virginia Mountaineers.

A group from Bowden’s WVU program of the 1970s came to say goodbye to their old coach, including a Tallahassee coaching legend in his own right, Rickards and Florida High great Mike Hickman, a student manager for Bowden’s Mountaineers who says he’s eternally grateful for what Bowden meant to him.

“He was so good to us as freshmen and sophomores in college and my dad died at the time, he took me under his wing and helped me get through that,” Hickman said. “Every job I ever got, I coached for 50 years, and for every job I ever got, he picked up the phone and gave me a recommendation. I owe that man everything.”

A public celebration of life will be held at the Donald L. Tucker Center Saturday morning.

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