Football Coaching Legend, 90, on Surviving COVID: 'I Wanted To Be Around To Vote for President Trump'


College football coaching legend Bobby Bowden, who was recently diagnosed with the coronavirus, has recovered, and he said he was driven to get better partially so that he could vote for President Donald Trump in the upcoming election.

Bowden, who will celebrate his 91st birthday on Nov. 8, coached the Florida State University Seminoles from 1976 to 2009, winning two national championships.

He’s now defeated a foe far tougher than former Florida coach Steve Spurrier.

In announcing his recovery from COVID -19 on Wednesday, Bowden also demonstrated that his sense of humor is intact, as is his love for the country and its president.

“I want to thank all the many many people who were thinking of and praying for me over the last few weeks,” Bowden said in a statement shared by his son, Tommy Bowden.

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In addition to being a lifelong winner, the coach is a man of faith.

“I just went through a battle with COVID-19 and God just wasn’t ready to take me home yet to be with him,” he said.

“Most of you know I’m 91 years old and the fight was tough but thanks to the help of Dr. Michael Forsthoefel, and the support of [his wife] Ann and all my children, I beat it,” Bowden continued.

The coach then pivoted toward the election and his candidate of choice, longtime friend Trump.

“I’ve had a chance to get a lot of wins in my life, but I really wanted to win this one because I wanted to be around to vote for President Trump,” Bowden said.

Indeed, the coach collected a great many wins on the football field.

Bowden notched 377 victories during his career, according to the NCAA, which included stints at Samford, West Virginia and finally Florida State.

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Even in retirement, he viewed Trump’s propositions for the country’s recovery as winning and campaigned for him in 2016.

Four years later, as a member of the population considered extremely vulnerable to the coronavirus, Bowden pressed on through the illness, and he’s now using that victory to again try and help Trump across the goal line.

He said in his statement that he views America as “the greatest country this side of heaven” and that the way to keep it great is to get out and vote to ensure Trump is the country’s head coach for another four years.

“There are about 45 of us Bowdens around,” the coach said.

“Most of us live in Florida, and I promise you that almost all of us will be voting for Trump, and the ones that don’t won’t be telling me about it,” he said.

Bowden then issued a plea.

“So please, take the time, dadgumit, for the sake of our children and grandchildren, to keep America great and vote for Donald Trump,” he said.

Trump, who also defeated the coronavirus this month, thanked Bowden and shared a few of his words Thursday on Twitter.

Bowden, who compiled more wins in his coaching career than legendary Alabama football coach Bear Bryant, built tough teams by asking for the most out of his players.

The coach inspired them by demanding the most from himself.

Even at his age, he’s still got the same fight in him, and he’s still asking for the most out of those around him.

But the stakes of the fight the country faces on Nov. 3 are much higher than those of any football game, and Bowden knows that.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.