ACC Legends series premieres with 30-minute documentary on Bobby Bowden

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  • Bobby Bowden
    Bobby Bowden
    American football player and coach
  • Brad Johnson
    American football quarterback

When Florida State celebrated Bobby Bowden's return to Doak Campbell Stadium in 2013 - and on the field named in his honor - hundreds of former players were lined across the sidelines.

Brad Johnson was among the group.

The former Seminoles quarterback (1987-91) and Super Bowl champion with the Tampa Bay Bucs said the topic of conversation among players wasn't Bowden's two national titles, his 357 career victories or bowl wins.

It focused Bowden's impact on an entire generation of players, coaches, and fans - and beyond.

"You talk about the mustard seed," Johnson said, referring to growth and that nothing is impossible with faith.

"We weren't talking the titles, wins.... what we were really talking about how it was set up for us. It was a place we were proud of, that we played at Florida State and for coach Bowden. Coach Bowden was my coach and it was done in a first-class way.

"His impact was felt across generations."

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Bowden, who died last August at age 91 due pancreatic cancer, will be featured on the debut of ACC Legends Tuesday, Dec 28, at 7 p.m. on the ACC Network (1325 Comcast HD).

The 30-minute documentary-style episodes will highlight legendary coaches and athletes from the across the Atlantic Coast Conference beginning with Bowden.

According to the network's release, interviews from family, media personalities, former coaches, and past players, including 1993 Heisman Trophy Winner Charlie Ward and Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, will reflect the impact Bowden "left not only on Florida State, but on the game of college football."

Bowden was forced into retirement following the 2009 season, finishing his 34-year career at FSU with a win in the Gator Bowl.

Bowden, who remained in Tallahassee in the same Killearn Estates home he purchased on his arrival in 1976, returned to FSU for the first time following his retirement in 2013. He was honored prior to the FSU-North Carolina State game, planting the spear at midfield prior to kickoff.

Johnson said it was an honor to attend the ceremony and play for Bowden.

"His impact continues to be felt," Johnson said.

ACC Legends is produced in collaboration with Raycom Sports. Future ACC Legends episodes include former NC State women’s basketball coach Kay Yow and Virginia men’s basketball great Ralph Sampson.

Reach Jim Henry at jjhenry@tallahassee.com.

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Bobby Bowden's impact on FSU, college football featured on ACC Network

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