Kenny Chesney / Facebook
Bobby Bowden served as the head coach of the Florida State University football team from 1976 until his retirement in 2009. He was known as one of the best coaches in college football, ranking second for all time wins in Division I. In total, he is recognized for having 357 wins.
Bobby earned the highest level of recognition when he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He was so well-respected that he even earned the admiration of his rivals.
So when news broke that Bobby passed away on Sunday (August 8), many people were devastated. His son Terry confirmed the news of his passing in a statement that was quoted by ESPN:
“My father passed away peacefully early this morning with all six of his children and my mother here by his side,” Terry said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better personal mentor than my father. He was a wonderful husband and father, who relied on his strong Christian faith to provide the foundation for his life. I also was fortunate to be raised by a football coach who had a reputation for coaching the right way his entire career. He was admired by everyone who played for him or coached against him.”
Bobby made it known he had been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition in July. Though he didn’t name which condition he had, Terry later told reporters his father had pancreatic cancer.
Football fans far and wide mourned Bobby’s passing and paid tribute to him on social media. One person who took time to honor Bobby was country music singer Kenny Chesney.
Kenny has always loved football, so it’s no surprise why he looked up to Bobby. The two of them were actually close friends, which makes his death all the more painful for Kenny to come to terms with.
“So long to a legendary football coach, a legendary person, and a great friend,” Kenny wrote alongside a photo of him and Bobby. He recalled how Bobby once let him go through Florida State’s spring football practice in 2004.
“Meeting and becoming friends with Bobby was one of the highlights of my life,” he said. “So long Bobby Bowden… You were everything good about college football.”
You can read Kenny’s full tribute to Bobby below.
Our hearts go out to Bobby’s family and friends during this incredibly sad time. May he rest in peace.