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There are some people who I feel like I could talk to all day.
One of those people is Florida State football coaching legend Bobby Bowden.
The way he tells stories, and the stories he tells are hypnotic.
I recently caught up with the 91-year-old to find out how he’s doing and to learn a little more about his amazing life.
So many of us only know him as a football coach.
Bu there’s so much more. He recently celebrated his 72nd wedding anniversary with his wife Ann. He has six children and 21 grandchildren. And nine great-grand children.
However, I don’t want to give away too much from our interview in this column.
I’d really like it if many of you would follow our podcast, “The State of Florida Sports Podcast,” powered by the USA TODAY NETWORK, and listen to the interview with Bowden.
We can be found wherever you follow your favorite podcasts. It also will be posted on all 17 of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida sites, including Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Palm Beach and many more.
It’s also as easy as typing into your search engine, “The State of Florida Sports Podcast.” You’ll find links to previous episodes or you can follow it on Spotify.
Bowden last October was diagnosed with COVID-19. But like so many other opponents in life, he beat it.
But what many might not know is when he was a boy, he had rheumatic fever. He beat that, too, but because of it, he was confined to his bed for nearly 18 months. During this time period, he started following college football, but in the 1930s and 40s, many of today’s powerful teams weren’t around.
He reveals which team was his favorite and how he ended up playing for that team — albeit it for a brief time. He explains this, as well.
Have you ever wondered how or why Bowden got into coaching? It’s not like people in the 1950s and 60s were clamoring to become college football coaches. A simple request that he get a Master’s degree was the seed of his coaching career.
I also was curious how Bowden ended up becoming Florida State coach in 1976. Keep in mind, this was a program that had only won four games in the previous three years. He took a chance, but the university also took a chance on him.
You might think Bowden would consider his best year or favorite team either of the ones with which he won national titles. And while those are, of course, among his most memorable teams, there’s one that stands out to him because of the accomplishments of those players despite no expectations.
Bowden also touches on his relationships with former Florida coach Steve Spurrier and former Penn State coach Joe Paterno.
There’s plenty more I haven’t even mentioned. Bowden was more than gracious with his time in this 20-minute interview.
If you’re interested in learning more about Bowden, check out “The State of Florida Sports Podcast,” hosted by me, USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida Deputy Sports Editor Tim Walters.
You'll be glad you did.
Walters can be reached at email@example.com
This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Bobby Bowden: Legendary FSU coach gives exclusive interview in podcast