‘He says he’s at peace, he’s at peace’: Former coaches, players under Bowden recall impact on their lives

Former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden speaks before an NCAA college football game...
Former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden speaks before an NCAA college football game against North Carolina State, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)(Phil G. Sears | AP)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 12:01 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden is one of the winningest head coaches of all time, but is just as loved for the wins he’s collected off the field.

Faith, family and football. The tenants often associated with Bobby Bowden. Always displayed, in that order.

An unshakable faith that changed lives, like that of Mark Richt.

“He led me to Jesus, that’s the most important thing he could have done for me and for my family,” Richt said at ACC Kickoff. “He knows I love him, his family knows I love him and he’s truly at peace. He says he’s at peace, he is at peace.”

An unbreakable bond of family, both at home with his boys and his wife, Ann, and in the locker room with the young men he mentored and led, like E.J. Manuel.

“The way that he was able to help grow me as a young man; I had to play at a young age, as a redshirt freshman specifically in that bowl game vs West Virginia, it was a huge opportunity for for me because I understood the implications of that,” Manuel recalled. “It was his last game at Florida State and I didn’t want to be the QB that didn’t get him the victory.”

An unmatchable mind and passion for the game of football. One that inspired and, now, created the next generation of coaches, like Jimbo Fisher.

“Bobby just always embraced me and taught me and talked to me when I had things to ask and do and one of the reasons I wanted to go back and coach with him and I don’t know if there’s anybody that’s ever done it with any more grace, dignity or class on the sideline in the history of this game.”

Faith, family, football - in that order - are the unmistakable foundation of an unmistakable legacy.

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