Celebrated Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden faces terminal illness

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Bobby Bowden, one of the winningest football coaches in NCAA history, has been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition, he announced Wednesday.

“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, 91, said in a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat. “My wife Ann and our family have been life’s greatest blessing.”

Bowden retired in 2009 after 44 seasons, including six years at West Virginia University and 34 at Florida State University. There, he led the Seminoles to two national championships in 1993 and 1999.

In total, Bowden racked up 357 wins.

“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.”

In 2006, the Birmingham, Ala., native was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and in April, he received the inaugural Governor’s Medal of Freedom.

“I am at peace,” Bowden said in Wednesday’s statement.

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