Bobby Bowden Biography

(One of the Greatest College Football Coaches of All Time)

Birthday: November 8, 1929 (Scorpio)

Born In: Birmingham, Alabama

Robert Cleckler Bowden, popularly known as "Bobby" was one of the legendary football coaches. He coached the Florida State University (FSU) team for nearly seven decades during which the team registered more than three hundred victories, breaking all the past records. For his accomplishments with the Seminoles, he is regarded as one of the greatest college football coaches of all time. There is no denying the fact that it is the coach who recognizes the talent required to build a strong and potentially winning team and Bowden excelled in the job. On January 1, 2010, he made his final coaching appearance in the 2010 Gator Bowl game, with a 33–21 victory over his former program, West Virginia. 

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Robert Cleckler Bowden

Died At Age: 91


Spouse/Ex-: Ann Estock (m. 1949)

father: Bob Bowden

mother: Sunset (née Cleckler ) Bowden

children: Tommy Bowden Terry Bowden Jeff Bowden

Born Country: United States

Coaches American Men

Died on: August 8, 2021

place of death: Tallahassee, Florida

U.S. State: Alabama

More Facts

education: University of Alabama (1953) Woodlawn High School Samford University

awards: 1980 - Bobby Dodd COY
1991 - Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award
2011 - Amos Alonzo Stagg Award for his outstanding achievement as a coach

Childhood & Early Life
Bobby Bowden was born to Bob Bowden and Sunset Bowden. He was just 13, when he was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and had to spend six months in the hospital.
After being discharged he was not allowed to go anywhere for nearly a year and it was around this time he got used to listening to University of Alabama football on Saturday mornings on the radio and developed an interest in the sport.
He attended the Woodlawn High School and was among one of the best football players in his school. He also played for the University of Alabama as a quarterback.
He graduated in 1953, from the Howard College, present day Samford University.
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From 1954 to 1955, Bowden served as the assistant football coach and head track and field coach at the Howard College Birmingham, Alabama.
He then became the Athletic Director and also served as the head football, baseball, and basketball coach for South Georgia College from 1956 to 1958.
After leaving South Georgia College he returned to Howard Collage and stayed there till 1962, before joining the Florida State University as an assistant coach.
He left the Florida State University in 1965 to coach at the West Virginia University and became its head coach in 1969. In 1976, he joined the Florida State University again as the head coach.
He coached the Florida State Seminoles football team for 34 years in which he lost only one season. On December 1, 2009, he announced his retirement from the Florida State University.
Awards & Achievements
From 1987 to 2000, under his coaching the Florida State University’s (FSU) football team finished every season with at least 10 wins and was constantly among top five teams in the Associated Press College Football Poll.

He held the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) record of 11 consecutive bowl victories and 14 straight bowl trips without a loss.

The FSU also won the 1993 and 1999 national championships while Bowden coached them.
His overall record at the FSU is 300-87-4 which includes a 158-27-2 record in Tallahassee, 35-10-1 record at neutral sites and 107-50-1 on an opponent's ground.
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For his outstanding achievement as a coach, Bowden received the ‘Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award’ from the ‘United States Sports Academy’.
In 2011, he was awarded the ‘Children's Champion Award for Leadership Development’ by the Children's Hunger Fund, a charitable organization, in recognition of his humanitarian work.
Personal Life, Legacy & Death

Bowden married his childhood sweetheart Ann Estock, on April 1, 1949. They had six children and 21 grandchildren. 

Like Bowden, his sons Tommy and Terry have coached at college level football. Tommy served as the head coach at the Clemson University, whereas Terry was the head coach of the Auburn University’s football team.
The Over the Mountain Touchdown Club of Birmingham, Alabama, named the National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award after him and on March 21, 2010, the award was presented for the first time.
‘The Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ presents an annual ‘The National Bobby Bowden Award’ to one football player.

On July 23, 2021, Bowden was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Bobby Bowden died on August 8, 2021, at the age of 91.


This famous retired FSU coach’s winning percentage was second among active FBS coaches with 100 victories.

He was the third coach in the history of major college football to have coached for 500 games during his career.

In 1999, in the famous ‘The Bowden Bowl’ football game, this legendary coach and his son coached teams, playing against each other. This event was the first of its kind in the history of Division I-A football.

See the events in life of Bobby Bowden in Chronological Order

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