For over 20 years, Florida State's Bobby Bowden has molded his Seminoles into the most successful team in college football history. Called a riverboat gambler for his trick plays and wide open offense, Bowden is known by the nickname "King of the Road," which he earned during his early years at Florida State for taking on anybody, anywhere, at anytime. Some have called him "the preacher" for his ability to deliver a message from both the sideline and the pulpit.
Bowden is the nation's second "winningest" active head coach and the only coach ever to lead nine consecutive teams to ten or more wins per season. His program is the only one in college football history to finish among the Associated Press's top four in nine consecutive seasons, win 11 straight bowl games, and play in 14 bowl games in a row without a loss. His team won the national championship in 1993 and 1999. Bowden was named National Coach of the Year in 1979 and 1980, ACC Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1997, and Home Depot National Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1999.
In the fickle world of "big-time" college sports, some forget what it is all about. While Bowden is proud of his two national championships, his place among the all-time greats, and a football program that is a model for the entire country, at this stage of his career he has begun to turn his attention towards other things. Devoting time to charities and his church, he is also a father figure in the traditional sense as the patriarch of the first family of college coaching. He and son Terry, the former head coach at Auburn University and 1993's national Coach of the Year, are the first father-son duo to lead Division I-A programs, let alone to coach them at the same time. Bowden's impact on the game of college football and the people that surround it is legendary.
Rising above Bobby Bowden's coaching accomplishments, are his credentials as a man. Friendly and outgoing, he is a deeply religious man who believes strongly in the strength of the family. He loves people. His personality and charm are bigger than life and he has become somewhat of a folk hero. An engaging speaker, Bobby Bowden is constantly in demand and most free evenings will find him on the speaking circuit. His off-season travel schedule would exhaust anyone. Sunday morning will usually find him in the pulpit of a church somewhere in the south. Outside of football, Bowden has an intense interest in World War II history and he is a voracious reader on the subject. He traced his ancestry to parts of Germany and has visited the country several times.