CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Florida State football coach Mike Norvell arrived at the ACC Kickoff wearing a garnet tie emblazoned with a Bobby Bowden logo at the bottom. It was a good excuse for Norvell to talk about the late Seminoles legend — not that he needed one.
Norvell didn’t get to interact with Bowden much before one of the game’s all-time greatest coaches died in 2021 at age 91, but the moments still resonate, like the 2020 meeting they had in Norvell’s office a few weeks after he got the job.
“He told me: ‘Stay true to who you are and continue to make an impact to everybody that you get to be around,’” Norvell recalled this week. “It’s special.”
Then Norvell got to see what special actually looks like.
After their meeting, Bowden walked down the hallway and toward the coaches’ meeting room. Norvell opened the door and saw the way assistants Odell Haggins and Ron Dugans lit up when their former coach walked in.
“For all the wins, for all the championships and stories — that will be the moment that spoke to me as loud about who Coach Bowden was and what he meant to players more than anything else,” Norvell said. “I take that as a challenge. I take that as part of that responsibility. However many years from now, what’s Jordan Travis — when I walk into a room, what’s that going to look like?
“I want that.”
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