Remembering Bobby Bowden: Terry Bowden reflects on the first year without his father

·3 min read

All he knew was football, so it was no surprise that Terry Bowden would follow in his father's footsteps and pursue coaching, especially at the collegiate level.

One year after the passing of legendary college football coach Bobby Bowden on Aug. 8, his son Terry feels the absence of his dad with football keeping his memory alive.

"He was my role model and the person I looked up to the most," Terry Bowden said. "So, I wanted to coach football like he did."

His office at Louisiana-Monroe is littered with memorabilia. Pictures, trophies, books and newspaper clippings reminding him of his father every time he steps foot into the office space adjacent to Warhawk football field.

Despite the late Florida State coach's influence on the office decor, the one thing Terry Bowden misses the most is his father's voice. With the two being early birds, they would typically chat at dawn before kickstarting their day.

"I still get up and spend time in the morning just preparing for my day and mentally spending time alone in devotion or thought," Terry Bowden said. "Those are the times where I said, this is where I used to call and visit with my father. I miss those more than anything."

Learning to adjust

This past year has been full of changes for the Bowden clan. Bobby was 91 when he died. The biggest adjustment for family members has been celebrating holidays, Bowden said.

In the past every Bowden would go spend holidays flocking back to Bobby and his wife, Ann, for a few weeks during the summer. Now, the Bowden clan has dispersed into smaller gatherings for the occasions.

"You have to wonder will we ever be quite as close as a family now, that we've kind of separated from that bond," Terry Bowden said. "Although my mother is still with us, she's not able to organize all of that at this point in time."

The Bowden football legacy

Since the 1950s, there has been a member of the Bowden family coaching college football.

Bobby Bowden began his coaching career in 1953. He went on to coach at five different schools before taking over the Florida State program in 1976 though 2010. At FSU he established his dominance. Bowden led the Seminoles to 12 Atlantic Athletic Conference titles and two national championships. Bobby Bowden was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Growing up with a football coach like his father, everything Terry Bowden knows about coaching was learned from Bobby Bowden.

Before practice begins, Bowden rounds up the players after stretching and does "quick cals." This callisthenic drill allows for the coach to establish the players focus for the day. He learned this trick from his dad.

"I only had one mentor, one guy my dad," Bowden said. "So there wasn't a lot of outside influence, it was just the one influence, my father. 'What did I get from him?' well, everything."

Emely Hernandez covers University of Louisiana-Monroe athletics and high school sports. Email her at ehernandez@thenewsstar.com and follow her on Twitter @emhernandeznews.

This article originally appeared on Monroe News-Star: Terry Bowden on the first year without his father, coach Bobby Bowden