Bowden celebrates 90th birthday with family, friends

Published: Nov. 5, 2019 at 8:25 PM EST
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News

November 5, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- It was a "DadGum" 90th Birthday Bash for the two time national champ and 300-plus game winner, Bobby Bowden, on Tuesday.

Bowden has long been recognized as one of the greatest coaches of all time, and Tuesday evening the legend was celebrated for his achievements and the impact he's had on others. His 90th birthday is just four days away, but Tuesday there was a lot of hoopla.

More than 600 people were there to give their well wishes to Bobby Bowden and while Tuesday was not his actual birthday, it was a celebration nonetheless. It was all about honoring a man who has changed the game of college football.

The greetings, "Welcome Coach!" and "Happy Birthday!", being shouted as Bowden rolled up to Doak Campbell Stadium. When asked how he was feeling he said, "Don't rush that birthday. I got four more days till I'm ninety."

Coach Bobby Bowden says he is feeling young, "Well I am feeling pretty good." He celebrates 90 years of life, health and lots of college football.

Former NFL and FSU player, Peter Warrick shares what it was like being under the guidance of Bowden, "Coach B was that guy that, you know he don't cuss, but he can get through to you by using the words in a simple form that you understand that hey I can't do this again, and hey this is what I expect of you. And when you have somebody like that it goes a long way."

Jim Gladden coached alongside Bowden, "He gave dignity to all of us and never took the dignity away."

The night featured special guest videos from the likes of President Thrasher to his three sons. Those in attendance also showed their appreciation for this 'great.'

Bowden said, "I have been here for 42 years and I coached for 34 so I met a lot of people during that time so I'm looking forward to getting with them again."

Bowden spent the evening reuniting with fans and players, the people Bowden credits for his success, "They have given me the satisfaction well they have put me on the map. Not because of me but because of what they have done."

Warrick reminisces, "The character and what kind of man he is and I know a lot of people don't know that but I got an opportunity to see that first hand, and not only is he a great person but a great coach as well."

Bowden could be seen laughing and shaking hands, soaking in the company and the festivities. Gladden shares that Bowden continues to inspire others and leave a lasting impact on others, "Coach Bowden had more influence on me than any other human being in my life."

"For right now. Happy 90th birthday to the goat," shares Warrick, "He's definitely the goat. Definitely."

"The fellowship that you have with your coaches and players. They're the whole key to it, the players," Bowden said when asked about his favorite memories. "And that's what FSU has to do right now, recruit and get more players. But just being with those boys.

"And being with Ann for 70 years," Bowden continued, speaking about his wife, "That ain't bad."