FSU Football | Bowden's First Year
Robert C. Bowden became Florida State's eighth head football coach since the Seminoles' modern era began back in 1947. Bowden's name was perhaps the one most widely speculated when the Seminoles began their search for a new head coach and the former FSU assistant (1963-65) readily admits he was interested "just as soon as I heard the job was open." It was with reluctance that the Bowdens had left Tallahassee 10 years earlier for West Virginia, and they kept close ties with many of their friends here over the decade of absence. In many ways it was 'like coming home'.
The Bowden record speaks for itself. In six years as head coach at West Virginia, he led the Mountaineers to a 42-26 record and had only one losing season. As head coach at Howard (now Samford) College, Bowden's teams won 31 of 37 games over four years. His overall record ranks 14th among active head coaches at major schools.
But the statistics do not tell the full story of Bobby Bowden. His enthusiasm is highly contagious and the commitment of everyone associated with the program is greatly enhanced because of it. Bowden has made no promises for 1976 other than "we will play with enthusiasm". "This will be my program and we will succeed or fail with it. We are always open to suggestions, but I will make the decisions. I am not going to promise this or that, but I came here to win."
His philosophy of sports centers on the concern he has for his athletes and their dedication to the program. "I believe academics is the number one priority. You want to keep a boy in school. His attitude about going to class and doing his classwork will be reflected in his attitude on the playing field. We want both to be good, because without these young men giving us their best physically and mentally on the field, we cannot have a successful football team."
Bowden emphasized three basics - team unity, fundamentals, and discipline. "Football is a team game, you win as a team. I don't want 11 individuals running around on the field. I want us to look and act like a team."
"I want my teams to be able to run and pass equally. I don't mean we will run 50 percent of the time and pass 50 percent, but we want to do both equally well. We want to be able to take advantage of whatever the defense gives us."
Born on 08 Nov 1929, Bowden attended Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama, and was a Little All-America quarterback at Howard College during his collegiate career (1950-52). He holds a bachelor's degree from Howard and a master's from Peabody College. He married his childhood sweetheart, the former Julia Ann Estock, and they have six children.