TAMPA — Florida State coach Bobby Bowden doesn't shy away from that R word — retirement.
"It's closer, but it's not like it's next year," he said between a round of golf and a banquet as his annual booster club tour swung through town Friday. "A lot of people say, 'Well, one more year, two more.' Nah. My contract is one year and it says every year, and I can let them know whether I want to come back or not."
At 78, he still exudes a boyish enthusiasm for his job.
"It wouldn't have been wise to sign a five-year contract. I ain't going to be there five years," he said. "But also, I don't have a desire to retire."
Bowden's take on some other issues that folks have been asking him about these days:
What do you like most about having Jimbo Fisher as your named successor?
I feel real good about this because it gives me an opportunity to retire and not worry about the other coaches. You know, when you retire, everybody gets fired. That makes you not want to walk out.
If you won another national title, would that be the time
to bow out?
It might, it might. Unless I decide I want to win two more. I'd sure like to get another one before I hang it up. I'm not happy the way we've been the last couple of years.
How excited are you about
the incoming class of players?
The draft tells the story. Not having anybody in the first round, the second round, that's about the way you're playing. But I think this crowd we've got coming in, there's more big-play potential guys in there. We need another year like that and I think we'll be very solid.
The commissioners of the Bowl Championship Series decided not to pursue going to a plus-one format, a de facto playoff. Good or bad call?
I'm happy with the way it is, to be honest with you. They can keep tweaking that thing, do that, but a playoff? I've been coaching 55 years, playing 10 years before that, I never had a playoff. It doesn't bother me not to have a playoff. And I think the 1 vs. 2 has been pretty daggum accurate.
How about nose guard Ron Simmons getting into the College Football of Fame?
He's deserving. He was the first national player we signed, I don't think there's any doubt about that. The year before (he arrived in 1977), that was my first year, our defense was probably 100-something in the nation. The second year we jumped way up there, and that was because he was there. We won 10 ball games. We put ol' Ron in there at middle guard, and he solidified our defense.
Are you surprised cornerback Deion Sanders, who redefined the position, didn't join Simmons in the class?
You're exactly right; he might have been the best ever at his position. It's just a matter of time before Deion gets in.
How do you feel about another former star, fullback William Floyd, stepping up to the microphone as the radio analyst?
He ought to be good. He ought to be a natural at it. They interviewed other people, I know that, but I don't think you'd get one better than William.
Brian Landman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3347.