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Well dadgum, Florida State legend Bobby Bowden is turning 90

FSU’s iconic former coach celebrates his latest milestone birthday Friday. Here are 90 things about his life and career.
Former FSU coach Bobby Bowden, seen here on the sideline during the 2010 Gator Bowl (his final game), turns 90 on Friday. [Times]
Published Nov. 5

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)

The Bowden family is shown in this 1972 photo in their home in Morgantown, W.Va. Bobby Bowden was coach at West Virginia from 1970-75. [Associated Press]

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

MORE COLLEGE COUNTDOWNS: State of Florida’s 50 greatest single-game college football performances

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

Chris Weinke was Bobby Bowden's second Heisman Trophy winner at FSU. [COLIN HACKLEY | Tampa Bay Times]

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

MORE COLLEGE COUNTDOWNS: Fabulous 50: State’s all-time greatest college football players

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)

Former FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews spent 26 years on Bobby Bowden's staff. [COLIN HACKLEY | Tampa Bay Times]

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

RELATED: Why Bobby Bowden didn't go home to Alabama

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)

Florida State linebacker Paul McGowan (38) tracks Michigan State tailback Lorenzo White during this 1987 matchup. [UPI]

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)

MORE COLLEGE COUNTDOWNS: 50 greatest college football games involving Florida teams

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

Florida State University quarterback Charlie Ward, right, and coach Bobby Bowden during media day activities in 1993. [ASSOCIATED PRESS | Associated Press]

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

RELATED: Where do Bobby Bowden, Mike Martin rank among top coaching duos?

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

Darnell Dockett (45), who played at FSU for Bobby Bowden from 2000-03, finished his career with a school-record 65 tackles for loss. [COLIN HACKLEY | Tampa Bay Times]

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”

FSU coach Bobby Bowden, left, shakes hands with his son Tommy, right, then Clemson's coach, just before the start of their game Saturday, Nov. 8, 2003, at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C. The Tigers won this renewal of the "Bowden Bowl," 26-10. [MARY ANN CHASTAIN | AP]

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

Former FSU coach Bobby Bowden and his wife Ann greet former linebacker Derrick Brooks before the start of a 2013 home game against Syracuse. Bowden's 1993 national championship team was honored before the game. [PHIL SEARS | Associated Press]

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

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