The patriarch of FSU football is about to become a dadgum nonagenarian. Bobby Bowden, still residing in the same brick house he purchased more than a half-century ago, turns 90 on Friday. Because we couldn’t let such an occasion go unrecognized, we put together this by-the-numbers look ― from 1-90 ― at Bowden’s life and career:
1 Losing seasons FSU experienced in 34 years under Bowden. It came in 1976, his first year.
2 National titles won by Bowden (1993 and ’99)
3 Bowden sons (Tommy, Terry, Jeff) who became college football coaches
4 FSU games ending in a tie in the Bowden era, none more famous than the “Choke at Doak” (see No. 28)
5 College Football Hall of Fame inductees who played at FSU when Bowden was head coach
6 Children born to Bobby and Ann Bowden (four boys, two girls)
7 First-team Academic All-Americans produced by FSU in the Bowden era
8 Orange Bowl appearances made by FSU under Bowden (the ’Noles won three)
9 Consecutive ACC titles won or shared by FSU under Bowden
10 Bowden assistant coaches who became NCAA head coaches
11 Consecutive bowl games won by FSU under Bowden from 1985-95
12 ACC titles won by FSU under Bowden
13 Bowden’s age when diagnosed with rheumatic fever, requiring a six-month hospitalization
14 Consecutive seasons in which FSU posted 10 or more wins under Bowden (1987-2000)
15 Average yards per attempt by Warrick Dunn (12 carries, 180 yards) at Clemson in 1995, a single-game record in the Bowden era
16 Retired jersey number of Chris Weinke, Bowden’s second Heisman Trophy winner
17 Retired jersey number of Charlie Ward, Bowden’s first Heisman Trophy winner
18 Seasons of at least 10 wins achieved by Bowden at FSU
19 FSU’s win total in the five seasons before Bowden’s arrival. He needed 28 games to equal that total.
20 Rushing TDs totaled by Greg Allen in 1982, still a Bowden-era and FSU single-season record
21.3 FSU’s average victory margin in its undefeated national title season in 1999
22 Wins compiled by Bowden in three seasons (1956-58) at South Georgia State College, his first head coaching gig
23 FSU’s victory margin in Bowden’s first bowl game at FSU, a 40-17 Tangerine Bowl romp of Texas Tech on Dec. 23, 1977
24 Consensus All-Americans coached by Bowden at FSU
25 Interceptions totaled by Bowden’s 1991 team, a single-season record for his tenure
26 Seasons that Mickey Andrews served as Bowden’s defensive coordinator at FSU (1984-2009)
27 Retired jersey number of Terrell Buckley, second Thorpe Award winner of the Bowden era
28 Unanswered fourth-quarter points scored by FSU to salvage a 31-all tie against Florida in 1994, a classic now widely known as the “Choke at Doak.”
29 Consecutive ACC games won by FSU upon entering the conference in 1992
30 Bowden’s age when he coached his first bowl game, Howard’s 52-20 romp of Georgia Military College in the 1959 Textile Bowl
31 Bowl appearances by FSU in Bowden’s 34 seasons
32 Career wins by Chris Weinke, most by any starting quarterback of the Bowden era
33 Minus rushing yardage posted by Florida in ’93 and Miami in ’97, when both lost to FSU
34 First-round NFL draft picks produced by Bowden at FSU
35.5 Career sacks by Reinard Wilson, a Bowden-era and FSU record
36 Blocked kicks recorded by FSU in the Bowden era
37 Points scored by FSU in its 37-9 win at Florida in 1977, the first Bowden win vs. UF. At that time, it was the most points scored by a ’Noles team against the Gators.
38 Jersey number of FSU linebacker Paul McGowan, first Butkus Award winner of the Bowden era (1987)
39 Length of Dan Mowrey’s missed 39-yard field goal in the final minute of No. 3 FSU’s 19-16 loss at No. 2 Miami in 1992 (“Wide Right II”)
40 Winning seasons recorded by Bowden in 44 years as a college head coach (not counting juco)
41 ACC team records set or tied by FSU in the Bowden era
42 Individual single-game rushing performances of 150 or more yards tallied by FSU in the Bowden era
43 Length of first touchdown by a Bowden-coached team, on an end-around pass (yes, a gadget play) in Howard’s 14-0 victory of Maryville College on Sept. 19, 1959.
44 Career rushing TDs by Greg Allen, first great tailback of the Bowden era (1981-84)
45 Fumbled caused by Bowden’s 1979 team, still an FSU single-season record
46 Age Bowden turned on Nov. 8, 1975, when his West Virginia team upset Tony Dorsett and Pitt, 17-14
47 Players who reported to Bowden’s first preseason training camp at Howard College, according to his autobiography, Called to Coach. Twenty-two players quit during the weeklong camp, held at a Baptist church about 25 miles outside Birmingham.
48 Rushing yards gained by FSU senior Sam Platt in the ’Noles’ 18-14 upset of No. 3 Nebraska in Lincoln in 1980. FSU finished with 12 rushing yards in the historic triumph.
49 Career TD passes for Ward, Bowden’s first Heisman winner at FSU
50 Length of Dan Kendra’s fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Scott McDonald, lifting Bowden’s West Virginia team to a 13-10 victory against N.C. State in the 1975 Peach Bowl.
51 Jersey number of two-time consensus All-America nose guard Ron Simmons (1979-80), the first great defensive player of the Bowden era
52 FSU players drafted in the 1980s (all coached by Bowden)
53 Jersey number of 1995 consensus All-American Clay Shiver, whom Bowden deemed the best center he coached at FSU
54 Length of Derek Schmidt’s first field goal in FSU’s 38-3 romp of Miami in 1984. It remains the longest by an FSU player in the ‘Noles-‘Canes series
55 Bowden’s age when he earned his 150th career win, 19-10 against Memphis State on Sept. 21, 1985
56 Total number of years Bowden spent in coaching, as head coach or assistant (1954-2009)
57 Receptions in 1964 by consensus All-American Fred Biletnikoff. His position coach: Bowden
58 Number of Bowden losses to ranked opponents while at FSU, 24 shy of his victory total
59 Margin of FSU’s shutout victory at No. 15 South Carolina in 1988, largest for a road game in the Bowden era
60 Points scored by Howard in a season-opening rout of Memphis Navy in 1960, Bowden’s third season
61 FSU student-athletes reportedly involved in a mid-2000s cheating scandal that forced Bowden to vacate 12 victories
62 Jersey number of highly popular FSU tackle Pablo Lopez, killed by a shotgun blast during an altercation at a campus dance in September 1986. Bowden has called Lopez’ death one of the most traumatic events of his coaching career.
63 Age of Bowden’s son Terry when he joined Clemson’s staff this past June as an unpaid intern
64 Bowden’s age when he clinched his first national title with an 18-16 Orange Bowl triumph against Nebraska on Jan. 1, 1994
65 Career tackles for loss (an FSU record) by Darnell Dockett, who played for Bowden from 2000-03
66 Career field goals made by Sebastian Janikowski, one of two Lou Groza Award winners in the Bowden era
67 Extra points converted by the ‘Noles in 1995, a single-season record for the Bowden era
68.89 Cost of a licensed 8-by-10 photo of Doak Campbell Stadium signed by Bowden
69 Bowden’s age when the ‘Noles topped Tommy Bowden’s Clemson squad, 17-14, in the inaugural “Bowden Bowl”
70 Years Bowden has been married to the former Ann Estock, his childhood sweetheart
71 Passes caught in ’99 by All-American receiver Peter Warrick, who helped Bowden win his second national title that season
72 Touchdowns scored by the 1995 FSU team, a single-season record for the Bowden era
73 Career field goals made by Derek Schmidt (1984-87), most of any kicker in the Bowden era
74 Receptions by Kez McCorvey in 1993, a single-season record for the Bowden era
75 Games in which FSU recorded 300 more passing yards in the Bowden era
76 FSU jersey number of offensive tackles Walter Jones, who allowed one sack in his lone season playing for Bowden (1996). Jones became a Pro Football Hall of Famer with the Seahawks.
77 Tackles recorded in 1993 and ’94 by two-time consensus All-American Derrick Brooks, one of nine FSU players from the Bowden era to have his jersey retired
78 Yards gained by defensive back Leroy Butler on the “Puntrooskie” play at No. 10 Clemson in 1988, sealing a 24-21 ‘Noles triumph
79 Career touchdown passes for Chris Weinke, first three-year starting quarterback of the Bowden era
80 Bowden’s age when he won his final game as ‘Noles coach, 33-21 against West Virginia in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, 2010
81 Rushing attempts by FSU (still a program record) in its 63-7 win against East Carolina in 1980.
82 Bowden’s total victories against ranked opponents while at FSU
83 Bowden’s age when he returned to Doak Campbell Stadium for “Bobby Bowden Day” on Oct. 26, 2013. It was his first visit to the stadium since his coaching career ended four years earlier.
84 Points totaled by FSU’s 2017 team in two games (both wins) under interim coach Odell Haggins, who played and coached for Bowden
85 Jersey number of All-America defensive end Andre Wadsworth, the 1997 ACC Player of the Year
86 Length of Tony Carter’s pick-six in the 2006 Emerald Bowl, a 44-27 victory against UCLA
87 FSU players drafted in the 1990s (all coached by Bowden)
88 Jeff Bowden’s jersey number at FSU, where he lettered for his dad from 1979-82
89 Average number of times Bowden could be heard uttering “dadgummit” in a 37-13 loss at Florida in 2001 (Give us a break, it’s a long list).
90 Wins totaled at Tulane and Clemson by Tommy Bowden, winningest I-A coach of the Bowden brood