Bobby Bowden talks about life away

Originally Published: August 27, 2010
By Lynn Hoppes | Page 2

For the past week, former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden has been traveling the country to promote his book "Called to Coach." He has spent most of his tour talking about being forced out by ex-FSU president T.K. Wetherell after winning two national titles and having 33 straight winning seasons. That's the juiciest segment of the book, co-written with college reporter Mark Schlabach. You can see that discussion in the video above.

But, we're Page 2, so we went off-the-board with our questions.

Here's 10 things you might not have known about Bowden:

1. Bowden realizes he will be criticized for only talking about his treatment at FSU in the book. "If I would have won more games, they wouldn't have let me go. I know that. But I wanted one more year. I started talking now instead of back then because I didn't want to make a scene. My children kept telling me I should have said it back then. I didn't want to embarrass anyone. So I wrote it all down."

2. Bowden still wakes up at 4 a.m. "For me to sleep in, that's 4:30. It's the best time to read. I go down, make the coffee and start reading. Then the newspaper shows up and I read that too. The phone starts ringing around 7 a.m. I tried sleeping late, but my body can't do it."

3. Bowden has a huge list of honey-do projects. "I had to change a tag on my car. That's the first time in 50 years I've had to do that. I had a flat tire. I didn't know what to do. I've always been given a courtesy car. If it doesn't work, you get a new one. It always was a first time for me to screw in light bulbs."

4. Bowden can play more golf. "You know for the first time I played golf in August. I've never done that. I've always gotten ready for the football season. I'm also going to get to play more in the fall. I don't hit the ball very far but it's straight. If I play from the senior tees, I might shoot 75. Last week, I had six birdies and an eagle."

5. Bowden never wants to see bad news. "I learned to handle criticism a long time ago. It's been tougher on my family. They hear about it at the post office. I don't want to hear it. I tell my staff not to tell me. It's amazing. Coaches are sheltered. I told my secretary not to put any bad stuff on my desk and not show it to me. I don't want to get mad."

6. Bowden isn't setting foot on campus this year or going to any games. "Most of the people who wronged me are gone, but I'm not going to any games this year. I think when I do come back, I'm sure it won't be strange. It shouldn't be."

7. Bowden will still watch college football on television: "For the first time in my life, I can watch my son play. On Saturdays, I can lay back, get a bite to eat and cuss at the TV."

8. Bowden and his wife, Ann, eat out most nights of the week. "We have a place in Tallahassee and Panama City and we bounce back and forth all week. We just love to go out. And our phone number is still listed in the Tallahassee phone book. Most people have been respectful about that."

9. Bowden now knows how to use a computer. "Last Christmas, I got a laptop. I knew nothing about it. Now I know how to get e-mail and I know how to send e-mail. I can look up anything I want to now. I've learned a lot of things. I spend a lot of time on my laptop."

10. Despite what you might think, Bowden says he must still work. "Five years ago, I thought, 'Boy, what are they going to do for me when I retire? I know they are going to be so good to me! What am I going to do with all that stuff they'd give me?' Well, it didn't happen that way. The only thing they gave me was a suitcase to pack my bags! But I still have to work. Ann and I invested in real estate and we can't do a thing with it. All we're doing now is paying taxes and making repairs. I hope they come back. So that's why I have to work. And Ann likes me to get out of the house too!"

Lynn Hoppes is Senior Director for Page 2 and Commentary for He can be reached at

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