TAMPA — The long nights, bright lights and Saturdays spent walking the sidelines are gone for Bobby Bowden.
But he doesn't see that as a reason to slow down.
The former Florida State football coaching legend hasn't eased into the usual pace of "retirement." On the heels of publishing a book, Called to Coach, he's now on the speaking trail, with about three or four paid appearances per week around the country.
Bowden's latest stop was Raymond James Stadium on Friday night, where he spoke to about 300 guests about faith, family and football at a dinner event hosted by Northside Christian School.
"I won't retire," Bowden said. "I don't want to be retired."
Bowden, 81, who left FSU after the 2009 season with the second-most wins in major college football history, "doesn't miss a drop" of coaching. One thing he has realized now that he's out of coaching is the pressure of the job.
He took the opportunity last fall to enjoy football as a spectator. He watched a lot of football and never missed an FSU game. "It was fun," he said. "I didn't have to worry about winning a single game."
Now Bowden is playing more golf and spending more time with his family.
On Friday he spoke before a group that included former FSU quarterback Drew Weatherford.
"He's the most humble individual I've ever been around," Weatherford said. "There's three things my dad used to tell me every day when he dropped me off at school. … And it was that God asks three things of us every day: be humble, be kind and be just. And I never knew what that meant until I saw that in person. I got to experience that from a man I admired."
Bowden remains involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"I'd hate to do nothing," Bowden said. "To me, when you do nothing, you're ready for the grave, and I ain't volunteering for that."