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Former FSU coach Bobby Bowden dies at 91

The legendary football coach led the Seminoles to two national championships during his 34 years with the team.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Legendary former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden has died at 91 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  

FSU Football announced the news on Twitter just before 7:00 a.m. Sunday.

Bowden passed away peacefully at 5:08 a.m. at his Killearn Estates home surrounded by his wife Ann and their six children, Bowden's daughter Ginger told the Tallahassee Democrat.

“Florida State University has lost a legend in the passing of Bobby Bowden. On behalf of everyone at FSU, Jean and I extend our deepest condolences to Ann and the Bowden family. Coach Bowden built a football dynasty and raised the national profile of Florida State University, and he did it with class and a sense of humor," FSU President John Thrasher said.

Last month, Bowden said he was "at peace" after his terminal medical condition was announced. His family later confirmed that he was battling pancreatic cancer.

"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 said in a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat in July. "I am at peace."

Bowden was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Oct. 2020. The Tallahassee Democrat said his health had deteriorated since he was hospitalized for the virus and he was resting comfortably at home under supervised care until he passed Sunday morning.

In April, the FSU legend was honored with the Florida Medal of Freedom at Gov. Ron DeSantis' mansion. In addition to the awarded medal, the governor declared April 7 as Bobby Bowden Day in Florida. 

"In 1976, football in the state of Florida changed forever when Coach Bowden showed up in Tallahassee," DeSantis said.  

"Coach, although your accomplishments on the field are unmatched...your legacy, as the governor said, goes far beyond football," FSU President John Thrasher added.

Bowden coached Florida State University for 34 years from 1976-2009 and is second on the major college victories list, according to ESPN.

During his time coaching the Seminoles, he led the team to two national championships, 12 ACC championships, and 14 consecutive seasons listed in the Associated Press' Top Five, according to FSU. The university says he also coached two Heisman Trophy winners and a Rhodes Scholar. 

Bowden was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

“Coach Bowden was one of the greatest coaches ever, but more than that he was an incredible man. He was a special human being who earned an enduring legacy because of his wonderful heart, faith and values he lived." Head Coach Mike Norvell said.

Former players and colleagues of Bowden continue to flood social media with memories of the beloved coach.