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Seminole fan recalls how Bowden helped find hope in heartbreak with letter after husband’s death

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 5:39 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Services to remember former Florida State head football coach Bobby Bowden began Friday as the legendary college football figure laid in honor inside the Old Florida Capitol.

Bowden died Sunday at the age of 91.

People came from all across the Sunshine State to pay their respects to Bowden and his family, but one woman’s story of him showcases perfectly who Coach Bowden was as a man.

Diana Lincoln lives and breathes garnet and gold.

“I have been in Tallahassee since 1970 and I follow them through thick and thin,” she said, who has been going to Seminoles games for years. “My fondest memory came in 1992 at the Georgia Tech game. We were up there and we came from behind and won. An amazing time at the very end.”

Not long after that, Lincoln’s husband was killed.

As heartbroken as she was, she did what Bowden made all those who followed Florida State feel comfortable doing.

“I wrote a letter to Bobby Bowden about it and how big of a fan my late husband was and Bobby wrote me the sweetest letter back,” she said. “I have it to this day. I’m a big fan.”

So much more than a football coach, as evidenced by the incredible turnout at the Old Florida Capitol on Friday morning, and how he touched someone like Lincoln, taking time out of his busy schedule to make sure someone else felt comforted in a time of need.

Something that Lincoln will always hold close to her heart.

“He’s just a wonderful man. That’s all I can say.”

A giant in the landscape of college football with a heart qual to the size: That’s the sentiment of everyone WCTV spoke with Friday morning who came to honor the legendary football coach and celebrate the life of an extraordinary man who touched the lives of so many.

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