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FSU Coaching Legend Bobby Bowden Fights COVID-19

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Since COVID-19’s sudden emergence in the United States earlier this year, there have been over seven million known cases, along with over 200,000 deaths attributed to the virus, and both numbers are climbing daily. Americans from every walk of life have been affected by COVID-19, from neighbors, family and friends, to big-name celebrities like Tom Hanks, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and most recently, President Donald J. Trump.

Even here at Florida State University, we have seen the effects of COVID-19 on a scale closer to home, as there have been over 1,500 positive cases between students and staff since the start of the semester. COVID-19 has also affected the football team, as first-year coach Mike Norvell had announced in September that he, along with other members of the team, had tested positive for the deadly virus and would be quarantining. Coach Norvel even missed his second game with the team as he had to attend remotely. The Florida State community was in for another shock when Bobby Bowden, the namesake for the Bobby Bowden Field in Doak S. Campbell Stadium, announced on Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Fans anticipate first FSU football game of the season
Original photo by Jenna Harris
Bowden was the head coach of the Florida State Seminoles football team for 34 years, starting in time for the fall season of 1976 and retiring in 2009. During his time with the Florida State University football program, Bowden led the team to five national championship games and winning two, with many teams from other seasons coming very close to winning a national title themselves. Because of his many accomplishments leading the team, Bowden has become a legend at Florida State University, earning the honor of having a field dedicated to his name in 2004 and an induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

The almost 91-year-old ex-coach, however, explained to the press that he feels fairly well and he seems to be in great spirits, despite the diagnosis he received last Saturday. He denied having any of the common symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever or loss of taste or smell but acknowledged that he had felt a little fatigued. Bowden suspects that he contracted the virus while he was in the hospital and a rehab center after being treated for a leg infection that was caused by the excision of cancer spots, though he was released last Thursday.

The other members of Bowden’s family have fortunately tested negative; although, he stated they are all being retested to confirm. In the meantime, Bowden has quarantined himself from the others in his household and plans to continue monitoring his symptoms closely as well as get retested in a couple of days. Sue Hall, Bowden’s administrative assistant of many years, told the Tallahassee Democrat that Bowden is a “very religious person who believes in the power of prayer,” and she urged those fans who might feel so inclined to keep him and his family in their thoughts and prayers. Mike Norvell also made sure to wish him well during his weekly press conference this Monday.

If nothing else, Bowden’s quarantine will give him plenty of time to revel in the Florida State Seminoles’ win against Jacksonville State University last Saturday and prepare himself for their game against Notre Dame this coming weekend.

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Erin graduated from Florida State University in May 2023 with a B.S. in Public Relations pursuing her career in marketing in Austin, Texas.
Her Campus at Florida State University.