College Football Preview: Clemson at Florida State
Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 8, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Bobby Bowden has not only outlasted nearly all of his contemporaries in the coaching business, but three of his sons as well.
And one person, family matriarch Ann Bowden, might be the happiest person in the stands today when No. 24 Florida State (6-2, 3-2 ACC) hosts Clemson (4-3, 2-3) in a key league game.
“It had gotten to the point where I just didn’t have the heart to sit out there and see one of them lose,” said Ann Bowden, who skipped last year’s game because of divided loyalties. “After all I’m a mother you know. There is something about mothers and their sons, mothers and their sibling children.”
After nine years of watching Bobby damage her third son’s job security, Ann Bowden can pull for her husband Saturday when the coach spends his 79th birthday trying to defeat the school that ran off the last Bowden coaching son last month.
“He doesn’t even like to think about it,” Ann Bowden said about her husband’s birthday. “I have to do all the planning for getting old. He doesn’t like being old and he doesn’t like me being old. I’m just 76.”
Bowden, who hopes to pick up his 380th career win Saturday, is on record that he wants to reach 400 wins before calling it a career. He is second all-time among major college coaches in wins, trailing Penn State’s 81-year-old Joe Paterno by two victories.
Meanwhile, sons Terry and Jeff are trying to get back into the college coaching game while Tommy builds a new home in the Florida Panhandle and sorts out his future plans.
“If Tommy felt he had had all he wanted I’d be happy for him, but if he gets antsy and wants to get back in there, he should,” momma Bowden said.
“Terry desperately wants to be back out there,” she said. “He doesn’t feel fulfilled. He had to give up that Auburn job before he was ready and wanted a respite from it.”
Terry Bowden has stayed involved with the sport as a radio and television commentator.