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Bowden rips FSU

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08:33 AM ET 08.24 | The icon is not going quietly. Bobby Bowden, in a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Sporting News, details his final days at Florida State and how he was "fired" from the program he built. Among the revelations from Bowden, who on Tuesday begins a nationwide tour to promote his book, "Called to Coach: Reflections on Life, Faith and Football": Bowden was fired -- he didn't resign or retire -- after FSU's loss to Florida in the regular-season finale. ... Bowden says former FSU president T.K. Wetherell, who played for Bowden when he was a Florida State assistant in the 1960s and repeatedly proclaimed Bowden had a "lifetime contract," reneged on an agreement to allow Bowden to coach through the end of the 2010 season.

Sporting News

Bobby Bowden, Getty Images Bobby Bowden, Getty Images
August 24, 2010  08:52 AM ET

Bitter. Sometimes you have to take the keys away from a loved one when they have lost the ability to drive.

August 24, 2010  08:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Bitter.

BB: Where is that lil' twerp? I'm gone kick his...

Trooper: Now, now, coach, it isn't worth it.

August 24, 2010  09:05 AM ET

Its all good. Feel the love.

August 24, 2010  09:15 AM ET

We all know that he didnt resign or retire. Not sure if him being bitter in public will do him any good. FSU will probably cut more ties with him. Its a catch 22, I believe FSU supported him as much as they could but when the program got to the shape it was in, something had to be done. Wetherell became the fall guy here. I must say, FSU recruiting wise, is in better shape.

August 24, 2010  09:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Not sure if him being bitter in public will do him any good. FSU will probably cut more ties with him.

Good point. I'm sure the fans will definitely be even more torn. There will be your guys that wish he hadn't left and there will be the ones that think he should have left 5 years ago. And this won't help the feelings.

He probably won't be invited back any time soon which is sad. I'm unsure on being able to name his replacement which is talked about in more depth in the full article.

I don't know if there is any way this could have been handled better.

Here's the longer article...

-- Bowden was fired???he didn???t resign or retire???after FSU???s loss to Florida in the regular-season finale.

-- Bowden says former FSU president T.K. Wetherell, who played for Bowden when he was a Florida State assistant in the 1960s and repeatedly proclaimed Bowden had a ???lifetime contract,??? reneged on an agreement to allow Bowden to coach through the end of the 2010 season. Instead, he wanted Bowden to be an ???ambassador coach??? with no responsibilities this season.

-- Bowden said once FSU gave new coach Jimbo Fisher a $5 million buyout in 2007 if he wasn???t the head coach at FSU by January 2011, he started to be ???phased out??? by the school.

-- The coach-in-waiting philosophy FSU used with Fisher doesn???t work.

The entire interview with Bowden and sons Terry and Tommy is available in the Aug. 30 issue of Sporting News magazine.

???I never thought (Wetherell) would ever do to me what he did,??? Bowden said. ???I???m disappointed, but it???s not like I???m going to cut my wrists.???

Bowden, who won???t be coaching this fall for the first time in 57 years, will appear on several national television shows Tuesday morning to promote Called to Coach. It will be Bowden???s first lengthy public appearance since leaving FSU after the Gator Bowl victory over West Virginia.

The day after FSU???s loss to Florida in the regular-season finale, Wetherell, who did not respond to Sporting News??? request for aninterview, asked to see Bowden in his office to officially end his 34 years as the Seminoles head coach.

???First thing he says is, ???This ain???t gonna be pretty.??? It went downhill from there,??? Bowden said. ???Those were his first words; I couldn???t believe it. He said, ???You have two options: One is to stay on as an ambassador coach for one more year. You can still be the coach, but we don???t want you to go on the field.??? I???d get paid for doing nothing. That???s stealing from FSU. I said, ???That???s out, forget it. What???s the other option???? He said, ???We don???t renew your contract.??? ???

Bowden says when he was told in 2007 that Fisher was going to be named coach-in-waiting, he told Wetherell that he wanted longtime defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews to follow him as head coach. He says Wetherell responded, ???That???s not going to happen.??? Bowden said Wetherell never told him of Fisher???s $5 million buyout, and that he ???read a lot of that in the newspaper.???

???(Wetherell) never discussed it with me,??? Bowden said. ???They weren???t going to pay that $5 million. Let me say this: I was being phased out. But they promised me one more year (than I got); it was set in stone.???

Days before the team left for Jacksonville to play in the Gator Bowl, Bowden went to the stadium named after him and packed up his office.

Not one person came by his office to say goodbye. When asked if he received a Rolex watch or a cake when he left, Bowden replied, ???They gave me a suitcase.???

August 24, 2010  09:23 AM ET

Sorry about all the question marks.

August 24, 2010  09:23 AM ET

he should have thanked fsu for allowing him to stay as long as they did, especially when they had a more than capable head coach in waiting in jimbo. he almost ran the program back to where it was before he started.

August 24, 2010  09:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

We all know that he didnt resign or retire. Not sure if him being bitter in public will do him any good. FSU will probably cut more ties with him.

Word is he's gonna go on the booster circuit for "that little school down the road".

August 24, 2010  09:29 AM ET
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August 24, 2010  09:30 AM ET

I don't know of one fellow Seminole who wanted him to stay beyond the end of last season. Still have very high regard and appreciation for Bowden, but it was clearly time to go.

August 24, 2010  09:32 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Bitter. Sometimes you have to take the keys away from a loved one when they have lost the ability to drive.

Bitter? FSU was nothing in football before Bobby showed up in '76. Look it up. That's an accurate statement. So if the guy wants 1 more year, then out of respect for him, you give him a year. I can't stand FSU (go Gators), but I've got a ton of respect for coach Bowden and what he did for FSU. Shame FSU doesn't have the same.

August 24, 2010  09:32 AM ET

Poor guy! Most coaches that stay around that long, typically relegate themselves to CEO-like roles and let their assistants and staff recruit and game-plan. The way I see it, he only made one mistake, which is hiring his idiot son to be offensive coordinator. That was really when things started going south for FSU. To make things worse he fought to keep his son, allowing the program to fall deeper into disarray. His son must feel awful knowing that he was responsible for a coaching legends fall. BB should have just taken an oversight roll like Paterno and just rode off into the sunset as coach.

Comment #19 has been removed
August 24, 2010  09:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

he should have thanked fsu for allowing him to stay as long as they did, especially when they had a more than capable head coach in waiting in jimbo. he almost ran the program back to where it was before he started.

Let's see. Bobby's got a couple national titles (and the experience of taking FSU from basically being a Vanderbilt type football team to a top team) and Jimbo has a couple seasons of being a lack luster coordinator. I won't say Bobby was on top of his game, but I sure wouldn't be calling Jimbo the savior yet either. What happens when he loses to Florida and Miami this year? Is he still going to be such a gosh darned good coach?

August 24, 2010  09:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Word is he's gonna go on the booster circuit for "that little school down the road".

LMAO! That's great.

EWO and Crimmy will hate it.

August 24, 2010  09:42 AM ET
QUOTE:

I was thinking the exact same thing. Never hard to replace a legend anywhere but sometimes you just have to and based on the way Jimbo has been recruiting it appears to be a good decision.Was it lost on anyone that the school prez played for Bowden back back back back in the day. Jeez he's been around a long time.

Fisher had better be able to coach as well as he recruits or he will be just another Mack Brown---best players in America but can only rarely even win his conference. What good are wins if you don't win titles?

August 24, 2010  09:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#20):

Let's see. Bobby's got a couple national titles (and the experience of taking FSU from basically being a Vanderbilt type football team to a top team) and Jimbo has a couple seasons of being a lack luster coordinator. I won't say Bobby was on top of his game, but I sure wouldn't be calling Jimbo the savior yet either. What happens when he loses to Florida and Miami this year? Is he still going to be such a gosh darned good coach?

I don't agree with the Vanderbilt type team. Coach Bowden is great. No doubt about that.

However, we need to look at the situation at FSU. Yes, it wasn't a football power in the 60s and 70s, but neither was Florida or Miami. All three schools benefited from the population growth in Florida (and growth in high school football) over the past 30 years. Florida has been fertile recruiting ground for the past 30 years.

Also, Bowden had an ace in the hole. Mickey Andrews. He's a "head coach" who DECIDED to stay an assistant coach under Bowden for a quarter of a century. That type of loyalty and stability made the FSU defenses of the 90s the terror of college football.

When I think about the FSU-UF games of the 90s, I shake my head wondering how Spurrier could put up over 60 points on the SEC schools but couldn't put up more than 24 points on Mickey Andrew's defense.

August 24, 2010  09:55 AM ET

I hate FSTHUG The U's little Brother wth their what 2 National Titles not quite 4 an played for 7-8 but BOWDEN needs to sit his Fta Southern Butt down an let JIMBO do the Job he was hired for & has been doing it extremely well wth his Recruitment of JAMES WILDER JR. an that Top CB plus almost 15 Player's, the CANES only have 5 but we alway's satrt late.
An we did add Seantral Henderson an Latwan Anderson bth 5* Players an in Seantral's Case will join alot of Great Young Offensive Oline Youth.
He'll play later this Yr an will be a 2-3 ACC 1st Team an 2 Time All American OT like Bryant "Mount" McKinnie.

August 24, 2010  09:57 AM ET

Either way JaCory will light it up while the Secondary an D chase Pounder all over, no Depth at WR like Miami or RB Dpeth either, sme Amazing players an a Good O-Line but Miami has nth Exp an Depth at the D-Line.

 
August 24, 2010  10:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Word is he's gonna go on the booster circuit for "that little school down the road".

AWSOME! LOL

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