College football lost a legend on Sunday, as Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden died at 91. Bowden, who collected 377 career wins and two national championships during his 40 years as a major college coach, announced he was suffering from a terminal illness -- his son, Terry Bowden, later confirmed it was pancreatic cancer -- on July 21.
In his terminal-illness announcement, Bowden said he was "at peace."
"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 told the Tallahassee Democrat "My wife, Ann, and our family have been life's greatest blessing. I am at peace."
Bowden turned Florida State football into a national powerhouse during his 34-year tenure in Tallahassee. The Seminoles won 12 ACC titles under Bowden, adding national championships in 1993 and 1999. For 14-straight seasons (1987-2000) Bowden helped FSU finish in the AP top 5.
In addition to FSU, Bowden coached at Samford and West Virginia. He retired in 2009.
Here's some of the love the college football world has shown Bowden since news of his death was announced.
Louisiana-Monroe coach Terry Bowden, Bobby Bowden's son, wrote on Twitter he was "touched" by the support FSU fans have shown since his father's passing.
Under Bowden, former FSU star Deion Sanders became one of college football's most feared defensive backs. Sanders earned the Thorpe award, given to the nation's best defensive back, in 1988. The former two-time consensus All-American was also eighth in Heisman in voting in 1988.
Derrick Brooks won two consensus All-American honors and a national championship (1993) while playing for Bowden at FSU. FSU retired Brooks' No. 10 jersey in 2010.
￼— Derrick Brooks (@DBrooks55) August 8, 2021
I thank God for my relationship with Coach Bowden! I am so grateful to play for Coach Bowden.He built into our spirits”Faith,Family,Football” in that order! I will miss him and I hope to honor his legacy with how I live my life. RIP Coach B! pic.twitter.com/ndvP1ImVJb
Warrick Dunn also played on the Seminoles' 1993 championship team, a season in which he earned freshman All-America honors. Bowden helped Dunn become the 1995 Sugar Bowl MVP and the program's first ever rusher to clear 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons.
Bowden coached Wayne Messam from 1993-96, winning a national title in the wide receiver's freshman season. Messam is now the mayor of Miramar, Florida, a position he's held since 2015.
Coach Bobby Bowden for every hug after a TD, for every Pregame Bible verse devotion, for every 2nd & 3rd chance you gave, for every motivational speech, for every one of my teammates you recruited, for every phone call to ask me to be a Seminole, I thank you! Rest In Peace 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/EkteetkwDA— Wayne Messam (@WayneMessam) August 8, 2021
Bowden led the Seminoles in many thrilling games against rival Miami, both of which rose to national prominence in the 1980s. Howard Schnellenberger, the Canes' former coach, also died this year.
Bowden also led FSU in classic battles against the Florida Gators, finishing with a 17-18- record against the Gators.
Several legendary, national championship winning coaches reacted to Bowden's death as well, including Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, Urban Meyer and Mack Brown.
"He was the model. He was such a great example of not losing sight of the main thing: a man of faith, a great husband, a great father." - Dabo Swinney in July on Bobby Bowden— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) August 8, 2021
All of college football mourns this loss. Our 🧡🧡 are with the Bowdens today. https://t.co/XAqSvOx1Jv pic.twitter.com/8hdOpHaLoK
We lost a great man today. Coach Bowden was one-of-a-kind and touched so many lives. I’m so fortunate to call him a mentor and friend. We send our condolences to all of his family and friends. A legend who will be dearly missed. pic.twitter.com/7STmB8Hjoi— Mack Brown (@CoachMackBrown) August 8, 2021
Prayers for Ann and the Bowden family! Much love and respect and thankfulness for Coach’s influence on my life!!— Mark Richt (@MarkRicht) August 8, 2021
Bobby Bowden was an icon in the football coaching world, but he was even more legendary for dedicating his life to building young men into great citizens, husbands, fathers and leaders. His impact will be felt for decades to come.— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) August 8, 2021
God bless his family and all those he impacted.
Bowden coached West Virginia from 1970 to 1975, winning the Peach Bowl in his final season in Morgantown.