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Digest: Retired college football coach Bowden has terminal illness

Digest: Retired college football coach Bowden has terminal illness

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Hall of Famer Bobby Bowden has terminal medical condition

Former Florida State NCAA college football head coach Bobby Bowden smiles at a Rotary Club luncheon on Jan. 10, 2018 in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Football icon Bowden has terminal illness

Hall of Fame college football coach Bobby Bowden announced Wednesday he has been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition.

“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 released to news outlets. “My wife, Ann, and our family have been life’s greatest blessing. I am at peace.”

Bowden, 91, was hospitalized in October after he tested positive for COVID-19. That came a few days after he returned to his Tallahassee, Fla., home from a lengthy hospital stay for an infection in his leg. He did not disclose his condition in his statement.

During his 34 years coaching Florida State, Bowden amassed a 315-98-4 record and built the Seminoles into a national power, winning 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and national titles in 1993 and 1999. He won 357 games during his 40 years in college coaching and was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

“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,” Florida State president John Thrasher said in a statement. ”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, who coached at Howard and West Virginia before going to FSU, has 377 total coaching wins — second in Division I-A history to Penn State’s Joe Paterno. Bowden retired following the 2009 season with a Gator Bowl win over West Virginia in Florida State’s 28th straight postseason appearance. He had wanted to coach another season but Florida State officials did not renew his contract. He was replaced by then-offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher.

“I think he’s one of the greatest — not only greatest football coach that ever lived, he’s one of the greatest human beings that’s ever lived,” said Fisher, now the head coach at Texas A&M.

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